MENA’s energy sector facing dual challenge of rising demand and shift to low-carbon systems, says energy & utilities outlook report

MENA’s energy sector facing dual challenge of rising demand and shift to low-carbon systems, says energy & utilities outlook report
Published: 4 February 2020 - 5:29 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

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 at Dubai World Trade Centre from March 3-5.

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 US $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 percent 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.”

Middle East Energy’s free-to-attend Plenary Sessions will feature six dedicated discussions and more than 40 speakers delivering over nine hours of strategic dialogue on the issues at the core of the long-term development of the MENA region’s power sector.

“As the global energy platform, Middle East Energy gathers the leading lights of the worldwide industry to examine the major issues, explore opportunities and set the agenda for the future. The plenary sessions and the wider conference series will deliver expert insights into the major transformation of the energy sector,” explained Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director, Middle East Energy. “The conference series is a bespoke industry platform created with the full support of a high-level advisory board, to provide specific market information designed to meet the needs of all our visitors.”

The sessions will probe topics which are now fundamental to the sector’s transition, including new business models operating within the energy industry, the power of digital and effective renewables integration. They are part of a three-pronged Middle East Energy conference programme which has attracted more than 150 experts from the UK, USA, Europe, China, the Middle East and North Africa to a two-day Renewables Conference and a series of seminars devoted to Digitalisation In Energy.

“These are free-to-attend sessions featuringcutting-edge content from those at the very forefront of the industry’s renewables and digital revolutions. Attendees will gain insights and access to key players from across the full industry value chain, including relevant government related entities, utility providers, developers, investors, manufacturers, automation providers, academics, R&D specialists and engineers,” added Konieczna.

More than 1,300 companies are due to take part in Middle East Energy across the exhibition’s five product sectors – Digitalisation, Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Energy Consumption & Management and Renewables.

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