April 9 (Renewables Now) - The Middle East wind market will be volatile this year but will return to steady growth after 2020, with Saudi Arabia becoming the market leader, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables says in a new report.
Saudi Arabia is set to become “a regional heavyweight” in wind power by the early 2020s and add 6.2 GW of fresh capacity in 2019-2028 but the level of its ambition for wind and solar varies significantly, according to Sohaib Malik, Wood Mackenzie power & renewables senior analyst. He noted that in spite of the cost parity between the two technologies during the first round of tenders last year, the 2030 wind target is only 16 GW, while the one for solar is 40 GW, “indicating the government’s preference for the latter.”
Despite its strong wind and solar ambitions and projected capacity growth in the wind and solar sectors, Saudi Arabia is expected to fall short of its current 2030 renewables target, Wood Mazkenzie said in the Middle East Wind Power Market Outlook, 2019-2028 report.
Back to the Middle East region again, the wind sector will continue to be volatile as last year’s growth in Jordan and Iran is expected to reverse in 2019. Regional demand in the wind sector is anticipated to become steady again and return to continuous growth after 2020. The solar industry, meanwhile, will witness a 53-GW boost through 2024 as countries with stable macroeconomic outlooks, such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, began auctioning larger projects. “As such, it will become increasingly difficult for wind to compete with PV in low wind countries including Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,” Malik said.