Outlook for MENA Wind Energy Sector

Steve Sawyer, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and a panel chair at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011, Jan 17-20, in Abu Dhabi, has said wind power development in the MENA region grew 38 per cent in 2009 and wind turbines usage in the MENA region will continue to increase in the future as national policies become more favourable and technological advances are introduced.

Speaking in an interview ahead of WFES 2011, Mr Sawyer’s statement follows the recent release of the GWEC ‘Global Wind Energy Outlook 2010’, which revealed that global wind power is set to double between 2010 and 2014, and half of the growth currently taking place in the wind farm industry is taking place in emerging economies.

Commenting on the outlook for wind power in the MENA region, Mr Sawyer said, "There have been encouraging signs for wind farm development in the MENA region in the past few years, especially in countries such as Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia, and also in Iran. Together, 230 MW were installed in these four countries during 2009, taking the total for the MENA region up 38 per cent to 828 MW at the end of last year."

He continued, "As wind turbines technology continues to improve in both efficiency and reliability, wind power becomes a more attractive option for power companies planning their future energy generation mix. With increasing concern in the MENA region about diversifying energy supply and planning for the ‘post- oil’ era, these technological improvements will continue to increase the attractiveness of wind power throughout the MENA region."

Mr Sawyer will be chairing a panel discussion on the second day of the World Future Energy Summit 2011, entitled, ‘What’s next for the Wind Industry?’. Leading international speakers from Vestas, Denmark; Energinet, Denmark and Suzlon, India are also confirmed to be part of the panel, which will discuss future challenges and opportunities for the global wind energy industry, including: technology developments, grid costs and the potential of offshore wind farm.

Reed Exhibitions, which organises the World Future Energy Summit, recently announced that delegate registration for the event is open. The summit provides a unique opportunity for international policy makers, thought leaders and renewable energy experts to address the challenges of providing safe, secure and sustainable energy. The event will run from 17-20 January 2011 and comprises the four day conference, alongside two exhibitions – a World Future Energy Exhibition and World Future Environment Exhibition.

This year’s conference will feature enlightening forums and senior industry experts speaking on four key themes, one on each day: Policy, Business, Technology and Finance. Topics to be discussed at these forums include international policy, financing future energy, solar, green cities, sustainable buildings, wind, biofuels, e-mobility, energy storage, hydrogen, strategy, carbon capture and storage, smart grids & super grids and nuclear energy.

World Future Energy Summit "WFES" was inaugurated in January 2008. It has evolved as the world’s foremost and must-attend annual meeting for the renewable energy and environment industry. In 2010 WFES uniquely brought together over 24,760 attendees from 148 countries including world leaders, international policy makers, industry leaders, investors, experts, academia, intellectuals and journalists to find practical and sustainable solutions for today’s energy security and climate change challenges. WFES promotes innovation and investment opportunities surrounding renewable energy and environment. It represents an unrivalled business platform bringing together project owners and solution providers with investors and buyers from both the public and private sectors.