The GCC is on the threshold of a major power revolution, with investments in the sector estimated at $250 billion in the next five years, according to a new study.
The study, titled Power UAE published by research specialists Global Business Reports said that the next five to 10 years will be crucial in shaping not only the UAE power sector, but will also change the face of the power industry in the GCC and wider Middle East.
“With the power sectors of Abu Dhabi and Dubai experiencing rapid growth, experts estimate the annual growth in demand for electricity will rise by eight to ten per cent over the next 10 years,” said a media statement announcing the report.
The report added that Abu Dhabi's power sector remains on top of the regional investment table with eight independent power and water producers in operation along with the introduction of the GCC's first nuclear project which is now in its construction phase and slated to be fully operational by 2020.
In Dubai, there are currently 11 plants varying from 400 megawatts to 1,400 megawatts with a total capacity of almost 9,000 megawatts. This is in addition to the emirate's new AED 300 million project to extend and activate a 132 kilowatts transmission cable network to redistribute electricity load and provide stable electricity and water services throughout the city, it said.
Meanwhile the northern emirates of Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain possess minimal natural resources and are in the initial stage of industrial development with each stepping up efforts to build on their power and water sectors and encourage foreign investment to drive growth, it added.
His Excellency Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), said: "Economic diversification and demographics are driving the development of the power and water sectors in Abu Dhabi and the GCC, underlining the fact that the region is not only one of the fastest growing but also holds the most potential of global electricity markets."
Anita Mathews, Director of Informa Energy Group, organisers of Power + Water Middle East, said, "Abu Dhabi and Dubai have some of the world's highest levels of electricity use per capita and efficiency of both electricity usage and generation will be the main concern across the UAE, GCC and Middle East regions in the coming years, especially with climatic changes demanding increased consumption of water and electricity in the summer months.
"While all major players in the power sector have established a strong position in the GCC with newer companies entering the market every year, Power + Water Middle East 2013 will provide the ideal meeting place for regional and international suppliers of products and services that will drive investment for future projects across the power sector."