OPEC failing to make energy transitions

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OPEC Head Quarters in Vienna
OPEC Head Quarters in Vienna

A new report by countries by the World Economic Forum has criticized the OPEC-member countries of failing to adjust to the changing energy architectures and renewable energy sources.

None of the member countries have made it to the top 50 list of the energy report, which focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of countries’ energy systems. Titled ‘The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index 2013‘, the report has been compiled in partnership with Accenture and ranks the top high-income countries in the world for adapting to the upcoming energy systems.

Norway is ranked on top of the list, while seven other European countries also feature in the top 10 countries. New Zealand and Colombia are two other countries making it to the top 10 list. Tunisia has been ranked as the highest Arab country on the index, followed by Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Omar Boulos, managing director of Accenture, Middle East, believes that the index could serve as a wakeup call for countries in the Middle East region to address their future energy needs. He says that, “whilst the Middle East countries did not rank highly in this report, I expect this to change in future index reports. Governments and private companies across the region are investing billions of dollars in energy infrastructure and they have declared very real commitments to addressing the challenges of energy supply, particularly in terms of renewable energy.”

To ensure energy security, the Gulf countries have undertaken several new energy projects that aim to improve the contribution of renewable energy sources in the overall energy production mix. The UAE will soon benefit from the launch of Masdar’s 100MW Shams 1 CSP plant and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. At the same time, the government of Saudi Arabia has also announced plans to invest an estimated USD 109 billion in 41GW of solar and 9GW of wind capacity by 2032.

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