‘Middle East to require additional power of 267 GW by 2030’

power plant AlexanderKhodarevIn the UAE, holder of about six per cent of global oil reserves, the growth in power demand is among the highest in the region. (Image source: Alexander Khodarev/sxc.hua)Siemens has announced its outlook for the energy landscape in the Middle East until 2030

The company has mapped out the region’s current power generation scenario, upcoming challenges, allocation of energy sources and the role digitalisation will play in the future energy mix. Siemens revealed today’s power generation challenges to be affordability, sustainability, efficiency and energy security. To overcome these, power generation needs to allow for fuel diversity, and to become more affordable, reliable, highly efficient with lower emissions, and flexible enough to complement renewables.

To this end, the Middle East will require additional power capacity of 267 GW by 2030. This will take the region’s capacity to 509 GW, from 307 GW today, resulting in an increase of 66 per cent. The next 15 years will also see 66 GW of capacity retired.

By 2030, highly efficient combined-cycle power plants (CCPPs) will dominate the market, as their share of thermal power generation reaches 65 per cent. This trend will be underpinned by the growing importance of natural gas as the number one source of fuel for power generation. Demand for gas is expected to grow by 4.3 per cent annually until 2030. CCPPs can increase fuel efficiency in power plants by around 50 per cent. Besides building new power plants, the region has a 45 GW potential for efficiency improvements by upgrading facilities, which are older than 30 years. 

“The Middle East’s growing population increasingly requires reliable and efficient power supply. While the share of renewables in the region’s energy mix is set to increase, we also see natural gas as the main source of power generation by 2030, with energy efficient combined-cycle power plants leading in new capacity additions,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East and UAE. “We also see digitalisation as an essential part of the future energy landscape, harnessing value out of data, improving productivity and creating new business opportunities.” 

By 2020, the amount of data globally is expected to reach 44 zettabytes – equivalent to five million laptops worth of data added every day – representing a ten-fold increase from 2013, according to the International Data Corporation. As the number of devices in power grids grows, complexity and data increase. This requires better interconnectivity and flexibility to integrate new technologies and secure assets from cyber attacks. Companies can use digitalisation to protect valuable assets, reduce cost, improve optimization and flexibility, and boost operational efficiency.

The Middle East will also see a growing mix between centralised and distributed power systems, while energy storage will gain importance as the share of renewables – solar and wind – increases and requires better integration into the grid. The growing role of renewables in the Middle East is in line with regional countries’ emissions reduction targets and climate change action plans. Power generation from solar is gaining momentum, with around 16 GW of capacity additions expected by 2030. 

In the UAE, holder of about six per cent of global oil reserves, the growth in power demand is among the highest in the region. By 2030, the country’s installed power generation capacity is expected to reach 60 GW, comprising of 44 GW from CCPPs, and the remaining 20 GW from simple-cycle power plants, renewables, nuclear and other.

In the UAE, Siemens turbines account for 40 per cent of the country’s power generation capacity. In Qatar, Siemens’ solutions are responsible for transmitting and distributing over 60 percent of power generated in the country. The company is also building a total of three natural gas-fired CCPPs with a total capacity of 14.4 GW in Egypt. The power plants will increase current generation capacity by up to one-third by 2020.

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