UAE. The biggest challenge to the energy sector in the Middle East is meeting the region's surging demand for electricity. If electric power continued to be generated on a large scale by inefficient oil-fired power plants, as it is today, not even the entire oil output of the Middle East would be enough in the long term.
Then the region would have to import crude, as a study by Siemens and the Technical University of Munich shows.
"The rapidly increasing domestic demand for energy is a major challenge to the countries of the Middle East. More efficient power plants and greater utilization of local natural gas deposits to fuel high-efficiency gas power plants can help to quench the thirst for energy sustainably and at an affordable cost," says Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Siemens Energy Sector, against the backdrop of a round-table debate in Abu Dhabi.
Taking Saudi Arabia, the region's biggest crude oil producer, as an example, Siemens has highlighted future challenges in the study. Saudi Arabia's power demand is set to more than double by 2030. About half of today's power is being generated in oil-fired power plants, the rest in gas power plants.
If this power mix were to remain unchanged, the country would have to import crude within just three decades, as it would no longer be able to produce enough oil for its own consumption. To counter this long-term trend, Saudi Arabia is pushing to exploit renewable energy sources on a larger scale and to develop a nuclear power capability, and is building more gas power plants.
However, the power mix expected for 2030 would also entail an increase of nearly two thirds in CO2 emissions. If significantly more natural gas were devoted to generating electric power, CO2 emissions could be kept at the current level of just over 200 million tons per year. What is more, compared to the alternative of constructing new oil-fired power plants, USD 18 billion in investment could be saved.
By contrast, relying on a higher share of renewables and more nuclear power plants to similarly limit CO2 emissions would be around USD 60 billion more expensive. National natural gas deposits would be enough to generate around two thirds of the country's power requirement for more than 100 years. At the same time more than 40 million tons of crude oil per year could be saved.
In its global energy study, Siemens is examining regional situations with allowance for predicted future developments. The aim is to determine what approaches are best suited from national and global economic perspectives for creating reliable, sustainable and highly-efficient energy systems but still at affordable power prices.
A global overall analysis is to be presented in Daegu, South Korea, on October 15.
The world's most important conference in the energy sector, the "World Energy Congress," is to be held in Daegu, South Korea, beginning October 13, 2013. Siemens Energy Sector is planning a number of events to be held in the lead-up to this major congress for the purpose of presenting a comprehensive picture of the energy situation and the specific challenges facing various regions of the world.
Experts from the political and business arenas, science and technology will engage in a dialog on the global and regional challenges involved. In addition, two bloggers are currently traveling the world on behalf of Siemens, publishing their impressions of the energy system they have visited at blogs.siemens.com/theenergyblog
For further information on the topic, please go to siemens.com/wec
The free online "Power Matrix Game" provides a playful impression of the intricacies of modern power systems. Players can develop their own city, using components from the Power Matrix to match power supply systems to their city's needs: powermatrixgame.com.
About Siemens Energy sector
Siemens’ Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for power generation in thermal power plants and using renewables, power transmission in grids and for the extraction, processing and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal year 2012 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of EUR 27.5 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR 26.9 billion and posted a profit of more than EUR 2.2 billion. On September 30, 2012, the Energy Sector had a workforce of more than 86,000.
Further information is available at: www.siemens.de/energy.