The MEA Energy Transition Readiness Index, released today (July 28), found the region is likely to become a hotspot for sustainable energy, with green hydrogen seen as key industry which could accelerate the energy transition.
Despite the highlighted strong prospects for sustainable energy in MEA, the report noted that the region scored only 26% on the Readiness Index, stressing the need for increased regulation and targeted investment to see its full potential reached.
The report states, “The region requires major capital investments, which in turn rely on clear policy frameworks being in place. Equally critical is increased collaboration along the entire value chain – from green hydrogen developers and financial institutions to suppliers – and between governments.”
Adding to the need for investment and regulation, Nabil Nuaim, Chief Digital Officer at Saudi Aramco, wrote in the report, “Transitioning to hydrogen requires huge investment to develop technology, build projects and establish marketplaces that collectively contribute to a cleaner energy future. This coordinated effort by all stakeholders must be supported by policymakers to achieve success.”
In the report, the two companies say that hydrogen could play a key role in decarbonising the region’s economies, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman which remain strongly focused on fossil fuels.
The Siemens and Roland Berger report acknowledged the 46 green hydrogen projects currently underway in the Middle East and Africa, noting the UAE’s aspirations to capture 25% of the global hydrogen market.
The report reads, “Exporting green hydrogen to the European demand centre presents a major economic prospect and the opportunity to gain geo-political significance in the global decarbonisation effort.
“Speed is key to establish and reinforce long-term supply chains. Hence, speeding up the development of renewable energy will be a priority for all countries wishing to enter the green hydrogen game.”
Pierre Samaties, Partner at Roland Berger, commented “The Middle East can play a key role in addressing the new priorities of Europe’s energy transition, through the export of green hydrogen and other potential mega projects focusing on cross-continent transmission of sustainable energy.”
Karim Amin, Executive Board Member at Siemens Energy, said, “The disparity between the reality of the energy transition and perception in the Middle East and Africa highlights the eagerness of governments and companies to portray their successes when it comes to decarbonisation.
“This excitement is a good thing and shows that companies and governments are interested but we need to make sure that it is backed up by real action. This should serve as a reality check. We still have a long way to go to decarbonise our energy systems.”
Building a green hydrogen economy in the UAE – An interview with Siemens Energy
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