Middle East renewables capacity set to grow 18 times by 2025
This forecast was issued in the latest energy report by the research firm Frost and Sullivan, in relation to the renewable energy industries in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. It amounts to a growth of the renewable energy industry in the region by a factor of 18. These governments are all committing to increasing the share of green fuels in their energy grids, as a priority in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Progress has faltered in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe disruption to renewable energy supply chains - as well as delays to tenders and lower oil prices. But this is not expected to negatively affect the solar and wind industries in the mid- and long-term.
Saraswathi Venkatesan, energy & environment research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, commented: “Capabilities in solar are more pronounced compared to wind energy as most countries in the region fall under the Sun Belt.
“Going forward, with wind making less than 20% of the total renewable energy installed capacity by 2025, solar energy investments are relatively more attractive.
“Qatar and Saudi Arabia are hubs of polysilicon production. Solar cell manufacturing and solar panel assembly are key areas to consider for investment. Going forward, in terms of value, solar PV investments are expected to contribute the most, at 67.4% of the opportunity size for the next five years, followed by solar CSP investments at 17.5%.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.