The Middle East is expected to more than triple its share of renewable energy from 5.6 percent in 2016 to 20.6 percent in 2035, according to a new forecast from Siemens.
Siemens’ ‘Middle East Power: Outlook 2035’ report notes that the region will acquire 483 gigawatts (GW) of power generation in the same time frame, up from 277GW.
Despite the growing share of renewable energy, natural gas is expected to remain the primary source of power generation in the region, accounting for 60 percent of installed capacity through 2035, predominantly through increasingly efficient natural gas-fired power plants.
The capacity additions that the region will see, according to Siemens, are primarily through highly efficient combined cycle power plants.
“A reliable, efficient, flexible and affordable power supply is the backbone of economic and social development in the Middle East. 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,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE.
“We expect the majority of new power generation capacity to be via highly efficient combined-cycle power plants, but renewables will also gain a substantially increased share of the energy mix,” he added.
Additionally, Siemens believes that upgrades to existing facilities older than 30 years could lead to an additional 45GW of capacity.
By 2035, solar power is expected to account for around 61GW of capacity. The report also notes that there is significant potential for wind power generation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but which is not entirely reflected in the moderate capacity additions expected.
The report notes that digitalisation will be an increasingly key factor in energy generation. A gas turbine, for example, can produce 30 gigabytes of data per day, which Siemens says can be used to increase efficiency and decrease production costs.
“Digitalisation is an essential part of the future energy landscape, and turning big data into smart data will enable us to be more reliable, energy efficient and cost effective,” said Siersdorfer.
“However, we must remember that with greater interconnectivity, use of data analytics and cloud technologies comes greater exposure to cyber security threats so organizations need to be well prepared.”
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