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Vestas advocates for 5 top priorities to develop wind industry in the MENA countries | Mena & Turkey
 
   

Vestas advocates for 5 top priorities to develop wind industry in the MENA countries

The dynamics of the markets are more and more determined by emerging economies. The International Energy Agency expects that over the next 25 years, developing countries could account for 90 per cent of the projected increase in global energy demand due to faster rates of growth of economic activity.

As the local energy demand is increasing due to economic and population growth, the world is looking for new solutions to the energy and climate challenges we face. Wind not only makes sense in countries with no indigenous fossil fuel reserves, such as Morocco, or countries that heavily rely on electricity imports, such as Jordan, but it is also an advantageous energy complement to the energy mix in oil and gas exporting countries. Wind power can help these diversify their energy mix and maximize their energy exports consuming renewable energy at home.

At the end of 2010 the Middle East and North African (MENA) region had an installed renewables capacity of 1,000 MW ? representing a contribution to the power mix of 0.2 per cent. Having excellent wind resources in many MENA countries, such Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Egypt with wind speeds with levels above 8.0 m/s, wind can become an important contributor to the region?s energy mix. Moreover, without generating any gas emissions wind can contribute to mitigate MENA?s water scarcity, as wind ? contrary to other energy sources ? does not consume water, when generating electricity.

The latest Energy [R]evolution Scenario(Source: GWEC, World Energy Outlook) anticipates that, given political support and well-designed policy instruments, by 2050, more than 90 per cent of the electricity produced in the Middle East could come from renewable energy sources.

Vestas, the global leader of wind technology and wind solutions, truly believes that wind can become an energy source on par with oil and gas. The results achieved so far globally prove that wind is no longer an alternative energy source, but a mainstream form of energy: at end of 2010, the cumulative installed capacity in the world reached almost 200,000 MW; the industry employs around 500,000 people worldwide; technology has rapidly developed and wind turbines are more efficient and reliable than ever.

During World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi this week, Inigo Sabater Eizaguirre, VP, Vestas Government Relations, MENA & Africa, shared with the attendees of the session ?Powering Up ? Seizing Opportunities? Vestas? views on what is needed to promote the development of wind energy in the MENA region.

In order to be able to fully exploit MENA?s wind energy potential, the following actions were recommended:

1.Develop public-private partnerships in countries where the business case certainty is too low to attract private investment, but where there are clear public benefits to be obtained.
2.Provide a stable renewable energy policy and the subsequent regulatory framework.
3.End fossil fuels subsidies in the light of clear economic and environmental benefits.
4.Set a robust price on carbon to send a strong signal to the market, change people?s behaviours and investments? directions.
5.Enable free green trade eliminating tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to accelerate the green technologies and the development of sustainable energy.
6.Reinforce investments in research and development to favour innovation in renewable and sustainable energy.
?The lack of clear political commitment, regulatory frameworks conceived for fossil fuel based systems and limited experience in wind technology and the development of wind projects are part of the challenges the wind industry is currently facing in the MENA region,? indicated Inigo Sabater Eizaguirre.

?Nevertheless, in line with our vision at Vestas, ?Wind, Oil & Gas?, we believe that wind can become an energy source on par with traditional fossil fuels. Thus, if the appropriate priorities are considered and the right decisions are taken, the MENA region will be able to make the most of its wind energy potential. At Vestas, we are ready to help? he concludes.
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Posted by Gisela Bühl | 2012-01-19