Middle East and North Africa smart grid investments to reach $17.6 B by 2027

Smart grid investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is on track to reach $ 17.6 B over the next 7 years, according to the Energy and Utilities Market Outlook Report 2020, a surge driven by greater attention to renewable energy across the region.

The growth forecast emerged from the report by Informa Markets, organiser of Middle East Energy, global energy event which returned for the 45th edition at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 3-5 March, which will showcase the latest technologies and solutions for integrating renewable energy into the region’s electricity grids.

As Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director explained, almost all MENA countries are establishing or planning renewable projects, including solar and wind. ‘The steep decline in the cost of photovoltaic solar has prompted regional utilities to progress some of the world’s largest projects and analysts believe that by 2025, solar will amount to 37 % of the region’s clean energy output,’ Konieczna says.

Doug Waters, Director of Energy Sevices – Global, Uniper Energy Services says MENA grid transformation is integral to optimising renewable utilisation. ‘ As renewable penetration increases and is more decetralised and embedded, including new technologies and demands like electrical vehicles, then the grid must adapt. Issues such as identifying demand and generation real time  – even when deeply embeded – managing inertia, voltage control and other services will require the use of new grid technology and digitalisation,’ explained Waters.

‘As renewable penetration increases, the existing asset base, which is most gas fired at MENA, will move from baseload operation to running more flexibly. This mean reducing minimum load but then moving to increased starts, increasing ramp rates, and increasing provision of ancillary services,’ Waters said, adding that changes in both the market and on-site strategies are required to manage the new operating regime and the risks and opportunities available.

Source: MEE Dubai Daily

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