Dubai: Investments in the renewable energy sector picked up in 2016 across the Middle East and Africa, with greenfield transactions attracting $8.7 billion (Dh31.9 billion) of investments.
According to a report by EY on Monday, the sector continued to dominate power and utility transactions in the region in 2016 after a period of slow activity.
Key investment announcements in the last quarter of 2016 included the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development coordinating a debt financing of $115.5 million to set up a desalination plant in Egypt.
In the UAE, a consortium of lenders invested to build the 800-megawatt Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar PV Phase III. The UAE also saw new projects in the field of coal, nuclear, and solar energy, funded by both local and Asian investors to support its raised renewable energy target from 24 per cent to 26 per cent. Additionally, Dubai launched a $27 billion green fund to support global sustainability projects.
“The focus in 2017 will be very much on the KSA renewable energy programme, now that this has been launched by the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and on potential investment opportunities from the Saudi Electricity Company’s unbundling into four generation companies,” said David Lloyd, Middle East Power and Utilities Transactions Leader at EY.
Saudi Arabia has a tender in 2018 for a 300-megawatt project that will boost solar capacity in the kingdom, followed by other tenders for 900 MW in 2019 and 750 MW in 2020.