Middle East renewables sector to register 24% CAGR by 2025, says GE

GE is looking to snap up contracts in the booming renewables sectors in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan

A field of solar panels at Saudi Arabias King Abdulaziz City of Sciences and Technology. The kingdom is expected to tender around 4GW worth of renewables projects. Fahad Shadeed / Reuters
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The regional renewables sector is set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 24 per cent by 2025, as countries, including Turkey and Pakistan accelerate capacity deployment to meet looming targets, according to the president and chief executive of the GE Renewable Energy in the Middle East.

"In 2016, we saw a good ramp up of renewable development in the business of solar as well as wind and that's going to continue to grow. The expectation that by 2025 we're going to see at least 24 per cent CAGR in the renewable business, around 25 per cent of the renewable mix in the region is going to come from renewable resources," Manar Al Moneef told The National in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

GE, which has been staunching losses across in power generation business looks to pursue opportunities in the growing renewables regions in the Middle East, where oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and consumers such as Turkey and Pakistan are looking to ramp up capacity for both wind and solar. In a January interview with The National, Jerome Pecresse, the president and chief executive of GE Renewable Energy estimated that the Middle East would require $30bn to $40bn in capital investment with the wind segment growing faster than others.

“Many countries have put significant targets. Turkey has put a target of 20GW of wind only, Saudi Arabia that has announced 9.5GW, Egypt has a 7GW, Morocco has 2GW in the next two years and around 7GW. Quite good targets by all countries and we’re keen to be a good player in this market,” said Ms Al Moneef.

Saudi Arabia’s renewable cycle this year, which is expected to see more than 4GW of solar and wind projects would be a “competitive” market for GE, which is eyeing the development of the nascent wind market in the Gulf.

On Tuesday, the Saudi energy ministry’s renewable energy project development office received bids for the country’s inaugural wind scheme in  Dumat Al Jandal in the northern Al Jouf region, which developers such as Acwa Power, one of the bidders, expect to break ground this year.


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Apart from the Gulf, GE’s Middle East business gamut, which stretches to include countries such as Turkey and Pakistan was bullish about the prospects for big projects on the back of ambitious targets in both countries.

“Turkey is the largest market. You see Egypt is starting. There is huge momentum and big tenders in Morocco. A few years ago they launched 850MW this year they have a couple of hundreds, next year they have 500MW, and they have  been in this for quite some time,” said Ms Al Moneef.

The company was also eyeing fledgling development in Tunisia as well as Pakistan, which has begun to embrace renewables to steer its faulty power infrastructure’s reliance on coal.

“Pakistan [is developing] renewables in a big way. They have 600MW of installed capacity in onshore wind and last year they launched 500MW,” said Ms Al Moneef.

“There is another 500MW planned this year, which maybe pushed to the end of the year,” she added.