Middle East looks to a renewable energy future

July 11, 2016

In addition to being home to more than half of the world’s crude oil reserves, and more than a third of its natural gas supplies, the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is also one of the world’s most demanding energy consumers.  This is a trend that looks set to continue over coming years.

Alongside Asia, the MENA region is forecast to account for the largest proportion of global energy consumption growth from present day until well into the 2030s, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.  Fueled by rapid industrialization, a population boom and significant investments in infrastructure, demand is projected to grow by seven percent annually until at least 2020.

As a result, regional governments have recognized that alternative, sustainable, and reliable sources of energy must be introduced to offset consumption of valuable fossil fuel reserves and are setting plans in motion to realize this.

In Saudi Arabia, the recently announced Vision 2030 highlighted that domestic energy consumption is set to increase three-fold by 2030.  To satisfy this growth in demand, the government is looking to leverage the renewable energy potential in the country - its arid and sunny climate makes it naturally suitable to harness solar energy.  Overall, a generation target of 9.5 GW has been established for this timeframe, supported by a progressively self-sufficient renewable energy value chain.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government recently announced that it is looking to increase clean energy power generation from 25 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030. the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, is host to the global headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), reinforcing the country’s position as the emerging Middle Eastern hub for renewable energy initiatives.

Abdul Latif Jameel is committed to the Middle East’s drive to develop renewable energy sources.  Abdul Latif Jameel Energy was established in 2012, with the goal of becoming an independent power plant developer and operator within the region’s rapidly changing energy sector.  It has since acquired the European-based solar energy firm Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a leading international developer of large-scale solar energy projects, to establish photovoltaic (PV) solar energy projects in the MENAT region and beyond.

Through this relationship, Abdul Latif Jameel Energy is today one of the leading global operators in photovoltaic and thermo-solar energy, having completed the construction, operation, maintenance and financing of over 787.4 MW of PV and CSP solar energy plants. The partnership has combined Abdul Latif Jameel Energy's local knowledge and financial capability with FRV's extensive experience in engineering, development and construction of solar installations - and a 4.3GW total pipeline - for more sustainable future.

For more information about our acquisition of FRV, please read the full press release here.