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UAE leads Gulf countries in renewable energy, expert says

The National

Vesela Todorova

24 October 2013

Olaf Remmler, PA Consulting Group energy expert, is extensively quoted in a news article on the future of renewable energy in the Gulf region. 

Olaf talks about the opportunities for low-carbon energy in the Gulf: “This region is the most attractive region for low-carbon energy in the world in the next 15 to 20 years.”

Olaf believes that the renewable generation capacity of the Gulf could reach 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, with about 60GW expected in Saudi Arabia: “There is still some homework to do. However, I think the sheer potential is so big that it will have a huge role in the economies of these countries,’’ says Olaf.

He continues: “The Emirates has the most advanced programme so far, although the size and the opportunity is a little bit smaller.” 

Olaf goes on to explain that if the Gulf countries are to meet renewable energy goals, it is important that the industry sets up a manufacturing base in the region.

“If that will not happen, it is difficult to see how you can sustain such a build-up,” says Olaf.

He adds: “And also, from a regional perspective, you would want to own certain parts of the value chain and drive it, rather than being dependent on suppliers.” 

This year, several high-profile solar-power plants are opening in the Gulf. The UAE is leading the way among Gulf countries. “Everything has been more or less project-driven,” says Olaf. According to him this is not enough to create the base for a local solar-manufacturing industry.

“If you are to invest as a manufacturer here, you would want a clear framework on how you operate in the region, what the market looks like,” he says. “As long as it is project-to-project, that would just be difficult because you just don’t have a perspective.”

Olaf concludes by highlighting the government role in achieving the region’s renewable energy goals and says that the government has:  “to commit to transparent strategies” so that investors could assess all of the risks during the lifetime of a project.


You can read the article in full here.   

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