Investment in renewable sources dominated the power generation industry in the Middle East and Africa in 2016, consulting firm EY has reported. In 2017, a Saudi program will be a highlight.
São Paulo – Investment in renewable energies reached USD 8.7 billion in the Middle East and Africa last year, according to the online version of Dubai daily Gulf News, which quoted a report from Ernst & Young (EY). According to EY, deals involving renewable sources dominated the energy and utilities industry in 2016, after a period of sluggishness.
Some of the biggest investments made last year included USD 115 million from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for a desalination plant in Egypt.
In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a consortium invested in the third phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is part of the emirate’s plan of harnessing 7% of its power from renewable sources by 2020, and then increase that share to 25% in 2030 and 75% in 2050.
Additionally, the Dubai Green Fund got USD 27 billion to support global sustainability projects. The organization’s goal is to make Dubai the green capital of the world. It will invest domestically and internationally, and one of its strategies is to create a Green Free Zone in Dubai for clean energy startups.
According to EY’s Middle East Power & Utilities leader David Lloyd, the highlight in 2017 will be Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy program. The goal is to generate 3.45 GW of renewable energy by 2020, and 9.5 GW by 2023. The goal is to broaden the scope of power sources and foster economic development. The plan includes solar and wind power projects.
Another highlight mentioned by Lloyd is the investment opportunities that will come up as the Saudi Electricity Company gets broken down into four separate companies. The company is the state-run monopoly handling generation, transmission and distribution of power in Saudi Arabia.