Panel Discussion: Energy Efficiency in the MENA Region Challenges vs Opportunities

The CEBC Clean Energy Annual Summit is our flagship event of the year where experts and industry leaders from across the globe come together to discuss the clean energy trends, challenges, opportunities and outlook. The summit focuses on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.

Key takeaways from the panel:

– There are a lot of opportunities in the ESCO market. During the pandemic, many people realized that there is a lot to do. The importance of the ESG in the corporate environment became more prominent, hence currently in the corporate world there are a lot of opportunities. Green recovery and reforms have been put in place by governments in order to improve the prosperity after the pandemic. From the private sector standpoint, this is a chance to reduce their Opex and achieve their ESG goals at the same time.

– Challenges in energy efficiency in the region pave the way to find solutions and improvements. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of educating the customers about energy efficiency. Regulations may incentivize people to take action and be more energy efficient. There is also some lack of financing. The IEA Net Zero Roadmap 2050 identified the energy efficiency in buildings as one of the things in technology that should be enforced.

– ESCOs are aiming to provide an energy solution to their customers (including auditing, design, retrofitting, implementation of the solution) with the main goal being improving efficiency. Super ESCOs aim to scaling up energy efficiency by promoting the energy efficiency concepts in order to gain acceptance from stakeholders and to establish the most suitable regulation and provide financial support in some cases. The establishment of Super ESCOs are recommended in every country. Creating more synergy between Super ESCOs are also highly beneficial as they can learn from each other based on the experience that they have.

– Super ESCOs are enabling the private sector by providing projects to ESCOs. The value of a Super ESCO lies in here: being able to help all the government entities to procure energy efficiency through the ESCOs. We can also consider as Super ESCOs as regulatory entities. They put some trust and confidence in the market, they are a trusted third party. The finance partners can get advantage by financing energy performance contract, IRR standing around 15%.

– Regulation is much needed to improve the energy efficiency. Some countries in the region used tariffs as a signal to move people in the desired direction as raising tariffs implies increasing costs for the customers.

– The uptake of EVs is a question of consumer choices and after the uptake, it will have an impact on the demand side management. In Dubai the target is to reach 100,000 EVs by 2030 which corresponds to a really small share to affect the supply side in terms of energy consumed.

– The digital landscape should be built as cities, better it is urbanized more it is efficient, sustainable, and resilient.

This summit is organized by the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC). The CEBC is a non profit organization dedicated to promoting clean energy including renewables, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy storage and clean energy technology and solutions for the environmental sector. CEBC provides a platform to further dialogue between the public and private sectors to develop much needed policy and regulation to help drive the implementation of clean energy across the MENA region. Thank you to the summit Gold sponsors Pinsent Masons, Standard Chartered, GreenParking, CATEC Mobility, CITA, ESB International and Enova and Bronze sponsors Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), SCAME, Hager Group and Lockton.