Renewables to Triple in Middle East by 2035
The world’s population is growing – the demand for energy is growing faster. During Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018, we released a report focusing on the future of the Middle East’s energy landscape, looking into opportunities and challenges, technology enablers, business models and how our increasingly diversified energy mix will look in 2035.
by Dietmar Siersdorfer
So what are the headlines? Natural gas will take the lion’s share of power generation – some 60 percent – by 2035 and while this is perhaps not all that surprising, it’s certainly a good thing. We’ll see oil-fired generation decrease, and filling this gap with efficient natural gas-fired generation is a positive environmental step. Our challenge is to keep working to make gas-fired, combined-cycle power plants as efficient as possible, and to upgrade and update older infrastructure to modern levels of efficiency.
The big story is renewables. By 2035 we expect power generation from renewable sources to triple, eventually making up just over 20 percent of our total energy mix, from less than six percent today.
Regional power demand will increase on average 3.3 percent per year. Renewables are inherently intermittent, and if they are to make up a fifth of our power generation in less than 20 years some serious questions need to be addressed. How will they be integrated into the grid? Will energy storage technology develop fast enough? It’s going to be an exciting journey to sustainability.
By 2035 we expect power generation from renewable sources to triple.
Digitalization – a topic close to my heart – will of course play a pivotal role in addressing some of these challenges, as the region transitions to a more sustainable energy mix. Cloud technologies and data analytics, for example, will bring greater flexibility, cost and resource efficiency into the grid. But while there is great potential, an increasingly digitalized energy system will face greater exposure to cyber security threats, and we must be prepared.
A reliable, affordable, powerful and sustainable energy system is the backbone of progress. It is the bedrock upon which the region’s social development and economic diversification will prosper – from stable industrial growth and intelligent cities, to world-class education and healthcare.
The road to 2035 will see new technologies implemented and fresh business models developed. Getting there will require innovative thinking, challenging the status-quo and a willingness to work together; to co-create. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.
This article was originially published on LinkedIn by Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East.
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