Mena Countries Eye Oil, Gas Savings From Renewables Plans

Gulf countries have barely scratched of the surface the potential to use renewables to cut oil and gas consumption, boosting export revenue.

Mena countries have some of the highest rates of solar irradiance on the planet. But you wouldn’t know it from their retarded renewables uptake. Mena installed capacity of solar and wind totals just 5.7GW (3.2GW solar, 2.5GW wind), 0.6% of the global figure ( MEES, 27 April ).

And these headline capacity figures overstate the importance of solar and wind to the power generation mix. Solar and wind by their nature intermittent: the IEA estimates average capacity factors of just 25% for solar and 43% for wind, versus 24/7 thermal capacity.

Factor this in and MEES number-crunching suggests that the regional ‘new renewables’ total equates to just 1.9GW of thermal capacity, the equivalent of burning just 254mn cfd of gas (presuming modern efficient CCGT plants) or 78,000 b/d of liquid fuel (see table). This is less than 10% of the oil burnt by Saudi Arabia alone (974,000 b/d for 2017: 458,000 b/d crude and 465,000 b/d fuel oil). (CONTINUED - 1160 WORDS)


table Mena Planned Renewables Capacity: How Much Gas And Oil Could Be Freed?