In one of the key findings of a new report that has been published by Siemens, the share of renewables in the Middle East energy mix will triple over the next 17 years. However, natural gas will still be the dominant power source in the region.
Siemens predicts that by the year 2035, the Middle East will require a toal 483 GW of power generation capacity, which is an addition of 277 GW from 2016. This would be an increase of more than triple from 5.6 percent (16.7 GW) in 2016 to 20.6 percent (100 GW) in 2035.
Solar power is one of the additions accounted for which is around 61 GW by 2035, and the report highlights a great potential for wind power generation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but they noted that this potential is not entirely reflected in the moderate capacity additions expected. Siemens also noted that this means that the need for reliable energy storage solutions and a stable and efficient grid is crucial.
Dietmar Siersdorfer, the chief executive of Siemens Middle East and UAE told journalists at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that the need to make grids ‘smarter; was “the most underestimated thing” in the global energy industry.
According to Siersdorfer, the use of the battery storage was sure to figure highly, and that hydrogen storage was a “holistic” solution. “You can build an eco-system for hydrogen”, he said. This is because of its ability to also act as a fuel for vehicles and also be utilized for other industries like petrochemicals.
However, though there will be a great rise of renewables in the Middle East, the report predicts that natural gas will still remain as the number one power source in the region which represents 60 percent of installed capacity through to 2035.
“A reliable, efficient, flexible and affordable power supply is the backbone of economic and social development in the Middle East,” Siersdorfer said. “While the energy mix will see significant diversification over the next 20 years, natural gas will remain the prime energy source for power generation in 2035.”