ME 'must expand power generation capacity'
Manama, May 25, 2011
Continued expansion of power generation capacity through building of more power stations and widening the distribution grid is essential to meet the long-term demand in Middle East, according to experts.
As the GCC adds more countries to its regional grid to enable it to share excess power between countries, power consumption continues to rise and electricity crises in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and others are still becoming more of a problem, they added.
Roy Hodges, vice-president of marketing at Technology Partners, said restricted energy supply has already led to problems across the region.
'Coupled with the increased cost and scarcity of energy sources available to countries, the need for a solution that manages demand, minimises loss and encourages sensible consumer behaviour is now more critical than ever,' he noted.
According to him, the electricity authorities in the Middle East face oil deficits, budget cuts, decreases in natural resources and political disputes, leading some of them to do the unthinkable - cutting domestic power supplies as a way of power rationing.
'The two biggest problems for utility companies, when distributing energy, are managing peak demand and minimising energy wastage,' Hodges said.
'Electricity can't really be stored, so if you need it now, you have to make it now, and when you make it, you use it or lose it,' he added.
'Continued expansion of generation capacity is essential to meet long-term demand growth and ultimately involves building more expensive power stations and widening the distribution grid,' remarked Hodges.
'Recent technology advances can mitigate this requirement by using a smarter solution - one that can manage the entire utility supply chain from generation, through transmission and distribution to consumption by the end user, and all in near real time,' he said.
'A Smart Grid upgrades grid communications infrastructure to enable real-time management of the electricity grid and its components,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service