For companies in the wind sector, however, the reception they have received in the oil-rich region has been decidedly cooler. Governments in the region have been slow to recognise how wind and other renewables can fit with their traditional oil and gas operations; and most of the nations that have committed to ‘green’targets have not brought in laws to give investors uncertainty.
And yet, in our report about wind in the Middle East published this week, we can see that there is hope for investors and manufacturers that want to expand in one of the wind industry’s final frontiers.
The first myth about the region is that every country is like Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, with huge fossil fuel reserves. They aren’t, and some countries in the region are looking to use wind to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel imports. One of the most interesting is Jordan.
The second myth is assuming that countries in the region have all the energy they need. Many of the countries in the Middle East are growing fast and so their energy demand is growing too. We expect more to look to wind as they seek to diversify their energy supply, and the likes of Egypt and Turkey are both a case in point. Lessons learnt there will spread to the Arabian Peninsula.
And the third myth is assuming that these countries won’t change. Government-backed sovereign wealth investors such as ACWA Power, Masdar and Nebras are looking to invest in wind projects across the region, while Masdar has also been active overseas. We expect more Middle Eastern investors to gain experience in wind overseas and then take that back to their home market.
The wind sector is starting to gain a foothold in the Middle East, and investors would be wise to look at what opportunities it presents —although it isn’t a market for those who want a quick win. Why not read the full report here?