Speaker Interviews

Mr. Faisal Rashid

Director, Demand Side Management
Supreme Council of Energy, UAE
1What are the key challenges faced in bringing renewables to the energy mix of Kuwait and other MENA regions?
The key challenges faced in bringing renewables to the energy mix of Kuwait and other MENA regions is availability and convenience of fossil fuel as a main supply, high up-front cost of building large renewable farm, non-existence of PPP regulation and high cost of building battery storage to provide energy to consumer during night time.
2What are the upcoming renewable energy and energy storage technologies to be implemented for renewable energy development especially in MENA region?
Based on study, Solar seems to be the most viable renewable energy solution in the mina region due high availability sun resources. Regarding large battery storage projects, they are under consideration and in the pipeline of many developed country’s agenda; experts are expecting that Renewable storage penetration to flourish beyond 2025.
3What are the key take away points from your presentation at the summit? How will it help in building the knowledge base of the attendees?
Setting reachable renewable regulation, roadmap and target is the starting point of any successful energy management strategy, accompanying with building institutional setting and capacity building to support reaching the target.
4Hope you had a chance to go through the agenda, please let us know your views on it and how helpful it is for our target audience?
The agenda is fit for purpose and it is quiet comprehensive.

Mr. Frank Wouters

Senior Director, New Energy
Advisian / WorleyParsons, UAE
1What are the key challenges faced in bringing renewables to the energy mix of Kuwait and other MENA regions?
The high subsidies for fossil fuels and conventional power do not allow a level playing field and are a real barrier for cost-effective renewables. There is limited awareness among decision makers and the general population about the urgency to tackle climate change and the business case for renewables. Furthermore, the regulatory framework is presently not conducive for an accelerated introduction of renewables.
2What are the upcoming renewable energy and energy storage technologies to be implemented for renewable energy development especially in MENA region?
Low-cost solar PV can now be complemented with cost-effective CSP with long term thermal storage, providing 24/7 solar electricity. This has great potential to replace gas-fired power plants. Such low-cost solar electricity can also be used to produce hydrogen, a feedstock for the chemical industry, long term storage medium and clean transport fuel.
3What are the key take away points from your presentation at the summit? How will it help in building the knowledge base of the attendees?
Hydrogen is a key and necessary energy carrier if we want to mitigate catastrophic climate change. The GCC region is ideal to develop a hydrogen industry at scale due to the availability of low-cost solar power, ample land and the oil & gas industry. Hydrogen will not only be a main feedstock medium for the chemical and steel industry, as well as a major transport fuel, but can eventually replace oil & gas as a source of income on the international energy markets.

Dr. Osamah Alsayegh

Executive Director, Energy and Building Research Center
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait
1What are the key challenges faced in bringing renewables to the energy mix of Kuwait and other MENA regions?

The main challenge facing renewables deployment in Kuwait is institutional. Kuwait is lacking an institution with legal and regulatory frameworks to allow steady penetration of renewables in the energy mix. Such institution would be powered with regulatory tool to set tariffs, issue licenses, evaluate renewable power technologies performances and enforce legal provisions. This institutional function is the fundamental requirement to encourage investors being part of developing the energy mix in the country. The State of Kuwait is pursuing the development of its institutional capacity through top-bottom approach. In other words, a vision for renewables mix, has been put by the top of the authority in the country, by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh/ Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who announced at the United Nations' 18th Conference for Climate Change, Doha, Qatar, 2012 that Kuwait will meet 15% of the demand from renewable sources by 2030. This vision is reflected by launching number of renewable energy projects thought which the institutional capacity development process has just started.

In the case of the MENA region, the challenges vary from one location to another. However, the most common challenges in the region include grid infrastructure incapacity in handling large scale renewable stations, and lack of financial incentives to private renewable energy developers. Such challenges should be tackled by political actors who would show the positive socio-economic benefits of renewable energy through creating new business and job opportunities, and meeting the clean environmental requirements.

Mr. Mohammad Abdalla Bin Ali

Director, Department of Excellence
Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, Sharjah
1What are the key challenges faced in bringing renewables to the energy mix of Kuwait and other MENA regions?

The main challenge facing renewables deployment in Kuwait is institutional. Kuwait is lacking an institution with legal and regulatory frameworks to allow steady penetration of renewables in the energy mix. Such institution would be powered with regulatory tool to set tariffs, issue licenses, evaluate renewable power technologies performances and enforce legal provisions. This institutional function is the fundamental requirement to encourage investors being part of developing the energy mix in the country. The State of Kuwait is pursuing the development of its institutional capacity through top-bottom approach. In other words, a vision for renewables mix, has been put by the top of the authority in the country, by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh/ Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who announced at the United Nations' 18th Conference for Climate Change, Doha, Qatar, 2012 that Kuwait will meet 15% of the demand from renewable sources by 2030. This vision is reflected by launching number of renewable energy projects thought which the institutional capacity development process has just started.

In the case of the MENA region, the challenges vary from one location to another. However, the most common challenges in the region include grid infrastructure incapacity in handling large scale renewable stations, and lack of financial incentives to private renewable energy developers. Such challenges should be tackled by political actors who would show the positive socio-economic benefits of renewable energy through creating new business and job opportunities, and meeting the clean environmental requirements.

2What are the key challenges faced in bringing renewables to the energy mix of Kuwait and other MENA regions?

Temperature: Solar panel efficiency is affected negatively by temperature increases. The main effect of temperature on solar panels is that it reduces the efficiency of the solar cells at converting solar energy (sunlight) into electricity. In other words, the chemical reactions that occur within the solar panels are more efficient at cooler temperatures than at hot temperatures.

High maintenance cost due to dust and sand that can coat solar panels significantly, by reducing their effectiveness

3What are the upcoming renewable energy and energy storage technologies to be implemented for renewable energy development especially in MENA region?
Many companies practice the innovation on solar panel during the last period! Critical thinking and innovation has now allowed innovative solar panels to become available in today’s market. The innovation is in the physical properties like Flexible solar panels, usage of cladding and appear as transparent panels. With solar technology becoming common, more advance options based on competitive pricing is becoming available for users.