Geographic overview

MENA countries with the highest potential for cleantech

Q5 Select three MENA countries with the highest potential for renewable energy investments in the next five years

Similar to our 2013 survey results, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the UAE still dominate the first and second spots in MENA country attractiveness rankings. They continue to be seen as having the highest potential for renewable energy investments over the next five years. KSA is seen as a large potential market but, so far, not much has happened on the ground because of delays in the implementation of solar and wind programs, and regulatory issues.

Despite the requisite financing, space, resources and demand being in place, cleantech growth in the UAE is slow. In our rankings this year, there have been substantial changes from the third spot onward as compared with last year.

Jordan and Morocco have moved up two places each and are ranked third and fourth respectively. It is interesting that these two are not at the top of the rankings, given that they have the largest markets in terms of projects in the pipeline and also have their policy framework in place. Jordan, Morocco and Egypt continue to remain attractive markets although their minimal financial resources limit their potential.

The other upwardly mobile countries include Kuwait (from 10th in 2013 to 7th in 2014), Tunisia (from 15th to 10th) and Libya (16th to 11th). Qatar has dropped from third to sixth, Oman from seventh to ninth and Egypt moved from fourth to fifth, while Syria replaced Palestine at the bottom of the rankings.

MENA countries with the highest potential for renewable energy investments

MENA country highlights of project developments and outlook

In early August 2013, Morocco shortlisted seven bidders for two concentrated solar power (CSP) projects with a total capacity of 300MW. It is also planning to issue tenders for two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects: the Tafilalt complex and the Atlas complex. The 100MW Tafilalt and 200MW Atlas complexes comprise four and eight solar parks respectively.

Algeria has introduced a 20-year guaranteed premium for wind projects, just months after the creation of its solar feed-in tariff (FIT — a scheme that pays people for creating their own green electricity). Separate rates will apply to projects above and below 5MW and the rates will reduce after the first five years of establishment.

Egypt has selected local cable maker Elsewedy Electric in a bid to build, own and operate six 100MW wind farms in the Al-Zayt Gulf.

Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has canceled the third round of its procurement program mainly because of grid-related challenges. Otherwise, the program would have seen 400MW of wind and solar capacity up for tender.

Kuwait is awaiting expressions of interest from developers to build the 280MW Al-Abdaliyah combined-cycle CSP project, valued at about US$3.3 billion with a solar component of at least 60MW.

Qatar has unveiled a mega-scale solar factory in Doha with a 300MW capacity, which is to be expanded to 2.5GW.