Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Jordan are the most attractive markets for clean technologies, Ernst & Young’s 2012 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Cleantech Survey Report said.
Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar are at the top of the attractive markets list, according to the respondents, due to their government plans, budgets and long-term strategies. These countries have also demonstrated investments in large initiatives such as KACARE, Masdar and the ’Green’ FIFA World Cup 2022. Although Jordan has limited financial resources, a new law was issued on renewable energy, which may help create new jobs by increasing local content requirements for investments in renewable energy.
Nimer AbuAli, MENA Head of Cleantech, Ernst & Young, said: "We see growing confidence in MENA Cleantech investments this year. The respondents were more optimistic than last year, mainly due to government support and various initiatives in the different countries in MENA. We expect this trend to continue as more Cleantech projects are realized and more we see the immense benefits of renewable energy." Seventy nine percent of regional respondents expect an increase in Cleantech investments in the region over the next five years. They also expect considerable increases in Cleantech investments in the GCC, reflecting the impressions of investors after recent announcements in the GCC and ambitious plans of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 94 percent of these respondents were more optimistic about Cleantech investments increasing in the GCC, compared with 73 percent in North Africa and 67 percent in the Levant.
The European Union and MENA governments and companies are planning to connect the region via an electrical energy grid capable of providing MENA countries with considerable electricity and Europe with 15 percent of its electricity needs by 2050.
Electricity will be generated mostly through renewable energy. 54 percent of the respondents still believe that the Desertec project will be realized compared with 62 percent last year, and 36 percent believe that the project could be realized but on a smaller scale and at a reduced size.
The survey indentified four main drivers of Cleantech growth across the MENA region: government policy, cost of the renewable energy, desire to reduce the use of fossil fuels and increased business efficiency. Job creation was also cited as an important driver for growing Cleantech investment in the Levant as a result of population growth and elevated rates of unemployment.