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MENA’s energy sector facing dual challenge of rising demand and shift to low carbon


The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Energy sector is facing the dual challenge of meeting rising demand while addressing a pressing need to shift to low-carbon systems, according to the latest major industry report released ahead of Middle East Energy, the global energy platform, which will be held in Dubai next month.

Energy & Utilities Market Outlook Report 2020, produced by GRS Research & Strategy and commissioned by Informa Markets, organisers of Middle East Energy, comes as investment in the region’s power sector is estimated to be worth $260 billion by 2022.

“Energy systems around the world are going through rapid transitions that affect many aspects of our lives,” states the report. “The continuation and acceleration of these shifts will initiate a global energy transition that will bring about significant changes to the way we fuel our cars, heat our homes, and power our industries in the coming decades.”

The report, based on a survey of more than 2,000 energy sector operators, has identified the GCC as the highest potential market for future-focused energy business opportunities, accounting for 32.8 per cent of anticipated transactions.

With utilities companies and governments in the MENA region facing increased pressure to meet growing power demands at a lower cost, yet with greater efficiency, global energy expert Benoit Lebot, Head of Secretariat at the Paris-based Partnership for Energy Efficiency Co-operation (IPEEC), the leading international entity on energy efficiency, says the region must focus on system design to reduce regionwide cooling demand.

Lebot, who will participate in powerful thought leadership plenary sessions during the industry-redefining Middle East Energy conference series, believes the GCC faces specific transitional issues.

“In the case of the Gulf Countries, we know that the population is growing fast, that cities are expanding widely and that the climatic conditions are evolving,” said Lebot, who will address the conference on ‘Decarbonisation and Sustainability Development Goals’.

“Typically, the need for space cooling will continue to grow. To address this trend, it is especially important to design cities and buildings to limit or lower cooling demand. Are we properly addressing this opportunity? I see indoor comfort as a major trend on the energy transition across the region.

Similarly, the expansion of cities generates new challenges for urban mobility. Selecting and designing transport infrastructure that can favour individual cars or modem public transport will have a huge impact on energy demand and local air pollution.”

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