JEDDAH — The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region stands to realize strong benefits on smart grid, including minimum savings of $300 million to $1 billion per year for Gulf countries.
Smart grid is an opportunity for MENA countries to incorporate their vast solar and renewable resources, manage growing demand, reduce carbon emissions and cut down on electricity system losses, a new study "Middle East & North Africa Smart Grid: Market Forecast (2012-2022)" released Monday by Northeast Group, LLC, said.
The study projects the smart metering market will reach 16.1 million units by 2022 with cumulative capital expenditure of $3.9 billion. The majority of near-term activity will be in the Gulf region, where Saudi Arabia and the UAE are currently leading the way. By 2022, 86 percent of homes and businesses in the Gulf countries will have smart meters. Other MENA countries will develop at a slower pace — due largely to political risk — but represent larger market sizes and also stand to realize strong benefits from smart grid technologies.
"By implementing smart metering, a conservative estimate is that Gulf countries could save a minimum of between $300 million to $1 billion per year on oil and natural gas used for electric generation. The actual savings could be much higher. Countries could then turn these savings into increased oil and gas exports," the study noted. — SG