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Renewable Projects Investment in the Middle East and North Africa


Last January, the growing investment of renewable projects was discussed in World Future Energy Summit (WFES) which was held during Abu Dhabu Sustainability Week in Abu Dhabi for four days. The gathering paid attention to the growing investment in renewable projects in the Middle East and North Africa. Senior figures from finance, technology, and government communities attended the event and investigated the rapid scale-up of renewable energy across the Middle East and North Africa.
 
Mark Thurber in association with Andrews Kurth led a panel session about accessing development capital through partnerships, new sources of finance, and innovative business models. Panelists in the session involved senior executives from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Centuria Capital, Vestas, Sunedison, Deutsche Bank, First Solar, and RWE Innogy. The session discussed several topics such as financial management, innovations in project financing, regulatory, historical market barriers and its structural obstacles, avenues for finance, as well as operational and other risks. Thurber explained that despite the impressive growth of the renewable market, financing renewable energy projects remains a significant challenge. 
 
Hugh Fraser, managing partner in Dubai, highlighted the scale of the water projects planned in the Middle East and North Africa. He stated that a US$330 billion project will be invested in capex projects related to water in the Middle East between 2015 and 2020. He also stated that the investment indicates the scale of opportunity for companies that can secure aspects of the work successfully.
 
The progress of wind and solar power becomes a fundamental strategy for the Middle East and North Africa countries since it provides energy security and creates long-term social and economic opportunity. A number of governments in both regions have made pledges to renewable investment. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, has pledged USS109 billion for the development of 41 gigawatts of solar energy as a part of boarder plan to set up 54 gigawatts of clean energy no later than 2032.
 
In Morocco, a solar power project worth US$9 billion is in progress and expected to finish in 2020. Jordan expects to invest up until US$2.1 billion by 2020, while Egypt will invest US$1 billion for solar energy since it expects to increase the country’s share of renewable as much as 20% by the same year. In addition, renewable energy investments in sub-Sahara Africa, specifically in South Africa, Ethiopia, and Kenya, are predicted to increase more than US$7 billion in 2016.