Saudi GE Renewables chief urges hybrid solution to overcome solar grid overload

Major investment in energy storage is also needed to smooth out the huge peaks and troughs of rising renewable power production across the Middle East, the WEF in Jordan heard. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 April 2019

Saudi GE Renewables chief urges hybrid solution to overcome solar grid overload

  • Major investment in energy storage is also needed to smooth out the huge peaks and troughs of rising renewable power production across the Middle East, the WEF on MENA in Jordan heard
  • Renewable power planners are struggling with the challenge of storing enough solar power to be used throughout the day and night

LONDON: Middle East countries investing heavily in solar power need to develop other forms of renewable energy to avoid massive volatility on the grid, according to the Saudi CEO of GE Renewables in the region.
Major investment in energy storage is also needed to smooth out the huge peaks and troughs of rising renewable power production across the Middle East, the World Economic Forum in Jordan heard.
“The impact that no one is understanding is the impact of a high amount of solar on the grid,” said Manar Al-Moneef, the regional CEO of GE Renewables.
“You’re going to hit the grid with a huge amount of power. But if a cloud comes along — bang, it goes all the way down. That will cause major volatility to the grid. Unless you stabilize that with wind as an example, that will be a problem.”
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are among the biggest investors in solar power in the Middle East while Jordan has also installed wind power. However renewable power planners are struggling with the challenge of storing enough solar power to be used throughout the day and night.
In the UAE as an example, gas currently provides 80 percent of the country’s power needs, but the government is targeting a 50:50 mix between gas and renewables by 2030 — mainly from solar power.
Dana Gas CEO Patrick Allman-Ward said that gas would play an important role in complimenting renewables in the Gulf countries.
“In the UAE, whilst they are bringing down gas in the overall power generation mix, gas will play an important role in addressing that intermittency problem because clearly the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day. So you have to find a way of providing the power that people need to consume 24 hours a day.”


IMF experts visit Lebanon amid worsening economic crisis

Updated 20 February 2020

IMF experts visit Lebanon amid worsening economic crisis

  • IMF team will provide broad technical advice
  • Lebanon has not requested IMF financial assistance

BEIRUT: A team of IMF experts met Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday at the start of a visit to provide Lebanon with advice on tackling a deepening financial and economic crisis, an official Lebanese source said.

The IMF has said the team will visit until Feb. 23 and provide broad technical advice. Lebanon has not requested financial assistance from the Fund.

The long-brewing economic crisis spiraled last year as capital flows into the country slowed and protests erupted against the ruling elite over decades of corruption and bad governance.

Diab’s government, which took office last month, must decide what to do about upcoming debt payments, notably a $1.2 billion dollar-denominated sovereign bond due on March 9.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun meanwhile said on Thursday measures would be taken to hold to account all those who contributed to Lebanon’s financial crisis through illegal actions be they transfers abroad, manipulation of Eurobonds or other acts.

“There is information that we are still in need of with regards to the banking situation. There are measures that we will take to hold to account all who participated in bringing the crisis to where it is,” Aoun said, according to his Twitter account.

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One of Lebanon’s most influential politicians, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, said on Wednesday that debt restructuring was the best solution for looming maturities.

Lebanon will on Friday review proposals from firms bidding to give it financial and legal advice on its options, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The government aims to take a quick decision on who to appoint, the source said.

So far, firms bidding to be Lebanon’s legal adviser are Dechert, Cleary Gottlieb, and White and Case, the source said.

Lebanon has issued requests for proposals to seven firms to provide it with financial advice.

The government on Wednesday formed a committee tasked with preparing an economic recovery plan that includes ministers, government officials, a central bank representative and economists, according to a copy of a decree seen by Reuters.