65pc see rise in cleantech investments
Dubai, June 21, 2011
Sixty-five per cent of executives in Mena expect an increase in cleantech investments over the next five years, according to a new survey.
While 59 per cent said key drivers of new cleantech investment were government policy, 29 per cent voted for climate change response, water scarcity (25 per cent) and solar irradiation (23 per cent) in the Ernst & Young’s Mena survey on cleantech titled ‘Cleantech matters: Seizing transformational opportunities (Mena outlook)’.
Population growth and business compulsions were seen as least likely to drive new cleantech investment.
Cleantech encompasses a broad range of technologies that include alternative energy (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro, biofuels, biogas, waste to energy, tidal), energy storage, water technologies, recycling technologies, green chemistry (non-hazardous materials), white biotech (enzymes), green biotech (plant enhancements), nano materials (surfaces & catalysts) and membranes (filters).
“According to the respondents of the Mena survey, the region has been ranked as one of the most attractive regions for cleantech investment after China and Europe, and there is a high degree of optimism within the region about its growing role and investments into its cleantech industry,” said Nimer AbuAli, Mena head of Cleantech, Ernst & Young.
“For example, almost 90 per cent of the respondents are backing the realization of the mega-project to connect the Mena and EU regions via a vast energy grid where electricity will be generated mostly by renewable,” he added.
The survey respondents felts that new money is expected to flow into solar thermal energy technologies (73 per cent) and photovoltaics (63 per cent), i.e., generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors – an obvious inference given the relatively sunnier climes of the region, said AbuAli.
Other sectors included water technologies (43 per cent), green building technologies (40 per cent), waste to energy and recycling technologies (39 per cent) and wind technologies (22 per cent).
Insufficient government support was listed as the single biggest barrier to renewable energy development by 39 per cent of the respondents, while price competitiveness compared to traditional energy sources and insufficient private financing followed at 31 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.
AbuAli added: “Despite the relative lack of state support, 60 per cent firmly believe it to increase strongly over the next five years. This indicates a sense of cautious optimism and reiterates the potential that we’ll witness in cleantech.”
During the financial downturn, businesses looked to cleantech for cost savings and efficiency improvements.
Energy efficiency practices have now become competitive with corporate focus on cleantech beginning to target revenue generation opportunities and top-line growth, Abu Ali added. – TradeArabia News Service