The energy sector of Saudi Arabia is on the brink of a high-speed transformation as a $90 Billion USD investment is about to pumped into it. The investment is hoped to fast track vision 2030 which will provide increased sustainability, research and development and improved manufacturing.
Yanni Sotiry, the head of business at Setra Belden, has stated that the energy sector in Saudi Arabia is witnessing unprecedented change. He was speaking ahead of the Middle East Electricity Saudi exhibition and conference which takes place between !9 – 21 November.
Yanni Sotiry went on to say that due to his companies key focus on efficient energy alongside how unpredictable green energy generation can be, producers of electricity need an accurate and high speed data flow with increased levels of monitoring than ever before.
It is expected that Setra Belden will be launching new products at the upcoming conference which aim to meet the demands for a high signal availability along with increased uptime, reliable communications products which will provide top reliability and performance in the harshest conditions.
Saudi Arabia has a set target to produce 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy and the nation is also looking into localising a large portion of the renewable energy value chain within its economy, including manufacturing and research and development. The King Salman Renewable Energy Centre, which has recently been launched, will encourage private-public partnerships to invest and lead to total investment of over $90 billion into the sector.
The main challenge the Saudi Arabia energy sector will face with all this investment is trying to keep up to pace with the transformation. A lot of change is predicted over the next 10 years and therefore the sector must keep up to pace with the additions of all the new technologies.
However, some analysts have been critical and have stated that the sector isn’t evolving and growing quick enough. Therefore, they believe the pace needs to be stepped up even more in some sectors. Ahmed Ghadder believes this. He thinks that the renewable sector in Saudi Arabia requires more change in a short period of time. Ghadder went on to say that the steps taken so far into alternative electricity generation are positive, but these steps need to be accelerated within different markets so that everyone can benefit from them.
Others believe that it’s not just the energy sector that needs transforming and the whole industry eco-chain needs transforming. For example, there can often be issues with funds and financing across Saudi Arabia. Work needs to be done on reducing the cash cycle and making sure contract payments are secured in good time. Issues are also being seen with competition from foreign brands which are imported with different specifications and not necessarily meeting local requirements.
The three day conference is expected to take a look at digitalisation from top to bottom, including investment and application of smart grids. The conference has attracted companies from top firms such as Sabic and Siemens.
The conference aims to implement several initiatives and investment opportunities into the Nations power sector, with the hope that the Kingdom can be transformed into a regional centre for electricity. This will lead to over two thirds of electricity generation assets within the country to be privatised, which is in line with the countries goals of the National Transformation Program.