Smart grids to present $17.6bn opportunity in MENA region


Smart infrastructure market intelligence firm Northeast Group forecasts smart grid investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to reach $17.6 billion from 2018 to 2027.

Driving increases in smart grid investments during the forecasted period are efforts by MENA countries to modernise grid networks to address unsustainable tariff subsidies, high per-capita electricity consumption and high non-technical losses.

Smart grid development in the region is still its early stages, according to a study conducted by Northeast Group. However, many countries have announced smart grid rollout plans.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are expected to lead other countries in smart grid investments and adoption over the next decade.

Wealthy countries in the Gulf region are expected to invest in smart grids to improve consumer energy consumption.

Growth of the renewable energy market in the Gulf will act as a driver towards adoption of smart grid technologies. Northeast Group predicts trends within the renewable energy market in the Gulf region will also help cultivate the region’s nascent battery storage market.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, said:  “The MENA region has been characterised by false starts and long-planned tenders that over the years failed to materialise.

“But in the last year, this has finally changed and large-scale rollouts are ready to begin moving forward. We’re already seeing activity take place, most notably in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two of MENA’s largest markets.”

Major international smart grid vendors including Itron, Honeywell, Landis+Gyr and ABB have completed projects in the region.

Chinese vendors including Hexing, Holley Metering, Huawei, and ZTE are also making a strong push to expand their MENA presence.