The Middle East energy sector is witnessing a surge of fresh investment in 2012, with 97 new power and water projects worth $32.7bn in 12 countries having started construction since the beginning of this year, or due to begin before year's end.
In the UAE, ten power and water projects worth $1.5bn have been slated to begin construction in 2012, including the $740m Noor 1 solar power plant, and Phase 2 of the $580m Emal Power Plant.
Morocco has injected $4.4bn into seven projects this year, and has placed a strong emphasis on renewable energy, with the Ouarzazate Solar Power in Olant, and four wind farms in Taza, Laayoune, Tetouan, and Tangier, all set to go ahead.
Kuwait has given the green light for 19 power and water projects worth $4.2bn, highlighted by the $2.7bn Al Zour North Independent Water and Power Plant.
Saudi Arabia meanwhile has 15 fresh projects worth $8.8bn kicking off in 2012, including the $2bn Al Qurayyah Independent Power Plant, and the $1.2bn Shuaiba 2 Power Plant.
The figures have been released by market research specialists Ventures Middle East ahead of Power + Water Middle East, taking place from 8 to 10 October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Other Mid East countries surging ahead with new power and water projects in 2012 include Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.
Held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), with Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) as a strategic partner, Power + Water Middle East is the region's premier event for showcasing power and water related products and services.
According to the World Energy Council, the Gulf region alone will require 100 GW of additional power by 2020 to meet increased demand, growing at 7.7% annually.
Population in the Middle East is expected to grow by 31% by 2025, reaching 500 million, forcing regional governments to not only ramp up efforts to invest in more power capacity, but also putting significant strain on already scarce natural water resources.
The Middle East is one of the most water scarce regions in the world, resulting in significant investment in water infrastructure and non-traditional water technologies such as desalination and wastewater re-use - of which the region has become a world leader.
Anita Mathews, Exhibition Director for Power + Water Middle East said: "Growing demand and rapid industrial developments has enabled Middle East countries to continue their run as the most dynamic power and water sectors in the world. Power consumption in the MENA region has been growing significantly and is poised to grow at a faster pace in the years to come. Power + Water Middle East 2012 will provide the meeting place for regional and international suppliers of products and services that will drive investment in the future."
Now in its 5th year, Power + Water Middle East 2012 brings together developers, manufacturers, buyers and service providers from a range of sectors in power and water to meet, discuss and invest in the current products and technologies in the related industries.
The exhibition has so far attracted more than 100 exhibitors from 25 countries wishing to network and offer solutions to regional power generation, water and nuclear energy industries.