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Middle Eastern electricity authorities face an urgent need to tackle energy wastage – exacerbated by generous fuel subsidies. With governments balancing calls for increased investment in electricity capacity against pressure to solve security and demographic problems, the UAE and Saudi Arabia – major hydrocarbons resources holders as well as electricity generators – are leading the regional quest to tame surging energy demand.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reckons that global investment in energy efficiency will amount to $8 trillion during 2014-35 (see p13). Of this, the Middle East will account for $169bn, mainly in the transport sector, but also in buildings and industry. Even with these savings, the agency sees Middle East electricity demand almost doubling by 2035, with additional capacity expected to be dominated by renewables and gas-fired plants (see charts).
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