The share of renewable energy in the Middle East’s energy mix is set to more than triple by 2035, according to a new report by German multinational Siemens.
The company said the region was expected to require 493 gigawatts of power generation capacity by 2035, an increase of 277GW on 2016.
Of this total, renewables are expected to triple their share from 5.6 per cent, or 15.7GW, in 2016 to 20.6 per cent, or 100GW, in 2035.
Solar will account for the majority of expected renewable capacity at an estimated 61GW and there is also deemed significant potential for wind power in Saudi Arabia and Egypt despite only moderate capacity additions.
Saudi Arabia has committed to 9.5GW of renewables capacity by 2023, while Dubai has committed to providing 25 per cent of its energy from clean sources by 2030.
However, natural gas is expected to dominate the wider generation landscape, accounting for 60 per cent of installed capacity and meeting most of a 3.3 per cent annual increase in demand through new combined cycle power plants, Siemens said.
“While the energy mix will see significant diversification over the next 20 years, natural gas will remain the prime energy source for power generation in 2035,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East and UAE.
“We expect the majority of new power generation capacity to be via highly efficient combined-cycle power plants, but renewables will also gain a substantially increased share of the energy mix.”
The firm said cost competitive storage remained a challenge for renewables in the region and there was also 45GW of power generation capacity that could be realised by upgrading facilities older than 30 years.