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As power demand across the GCC is likely to double by 2020 to 215GW, the potential exists for member states to generate at least 25GW of its energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan
The exceptional growth in the demand for power across the region has made it unfeasible for conventional fuel sources to meet the increased demand, the report argued, necessitating a reconsideration of the fuel mix to make renewable energy a significant contributor.
Abhay Bhargava, head of energy and power systems practice at Frost & Sullivan, said, "Utilising oil and gas alone, or diesel, has been an option to manage peak loads, however, it is not a long-term solution to meet energy demands. While nuclear energy is an option that can be considered, it is not feasible in the current decade. An exception, however, is the UAE, which has currently been implementing nuclear energy resources successfully.
"The demand-supply gap and abundant availability of sunlight as a resource in the GCC has led to solar power being considered as a viable energy source to meet emerging needs. In order to cater to peak loads, the GCC governments have proposed new projects to mitigate ageing power infrastructure and support new diversification plans," Bhargava added.
Frost & Sullivan said that the global energy mix is set to change dramatically, with high growth expected for a number of various renewable energy technologies.
The report concluded by saying that specific research into region-specific solutions are currently lacking, and the use of subsidised hydrocarbons is "the largest issue that needs to be addressed".