Middle East slow to embrace renewable energy

Hopes of a Middle Eastern green energy boom saving clean technology companies from the shrinking project pools of Europe are premature, with turbine maker Vestas reporting a low demand for it’s products in the region.

Vestas estimates renewables accounts for only 0.2 per cent of power production in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), compared to a global average of around 3 per cent and many European countries already well into double digits.

"It is not even one tenth of the world average, which is already low, and if we split between the Middle East and North Africa much of the 0.2 percent happens in North Africa," the head of Vestas' Mediterranean operations said. "But it should also be looked at as a huge opportunity."

The world's leading turbine maker has just 600 MW of installed wind capacity from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula, compared to 3650 MW of turbines it has supplied to Spain alone.

Major oil exporters Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have built a few small solar plants and have plans to build more. But active solar projects are still rare, with Saudi Arabia building less than 100 MW in the last three years.

POWER-GEN Middle East conference and exhibition will be taking in Qatar on February 6-8 2012 and will include conference sessions on strategic issues facing the region’s power industry and the latest technology being employed. For more information please click here.

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