Middle East and African power suppliers are increasingly turning to renewable energy to help meet escalating demand for electricity, fuelled by booming populations, industrial development and environmental regulations.
According to the US Government's Energy Information Administration, alternative power use in the Middle East and Africa is expected to double to 2.4 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) by 2020, as governments expand investment in renewables as alternatives to gas or oil fired generating stations.
Among Middle East and North Africa countries planning to supplement electricity supplies with wind, solar or hydro-electric projects are the UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.
Turkey and Iran are pioneers in renewable energy use in the Middle East. Hydroelectricity accounts for 45 percent of Turkey's total installed power capacity – 10,000 megawatts out of 23,000 megawatts and for seven percent of Iran's – 2,000 megawatts out of 30,000 megawatts. Egypt also generates electricity from hydropower.
Turkey has the most ambitious renewable energy expansion plans in the Middle East, including the 1,200 megawatt Ilisu scheme, part of the $32 billion Southeastern Anatolian Water Project, known as GAP. When completed it will have 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric plants. Wind power will also be used to help meet the country's energy needs with phase one of a 350-megawatt scheme consisting of a 30-megawatt wind farm west of Istanbul and two other projects, near Ismir, with a combined capacity of 90 megawatts.
Meanwhile, Iran's share of hydroelectricity is set to rise to 15 percent of installed capacity by March 2004 and to 20 percent by the end of 2009. In North Africa, Morocco will invest $ 3.7 billion in energy projects through 2003, a significant portion of which will go to wind projects, including the construction of two wind farms in Tangiers and Tarfaya, at a cost of $200 million. And Egypt is constructing a 30-megawatt solar power plant at Kureimat and a 60-megawatt wind project in the Suez Canal area.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Jordan is developing a solar hybrid plant. The estimated $200 million project will use a solar energy system aided by fuel oil to generate electricity. The plant is expected to generate between 100 and 150 megawatts. The kingdom also has plans for three wind power stations, each with a 25-30 MW capacity, to be constructed on a build, own and operate basis.
Among companies hoping to win a share of the Middle East and African renewable energy market is Vestas Danish Wind Technology, which will exhibit in a dedicated renewable energy arena at Middle East Electricity 2003 and conduct a seminar on wind technology. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )