MEED conference told Saudi energy study on track

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DNV GL is on track to deliver the most comprehensive power consumption study ever attempted in the Middle East, MEED’s Saudi Mega Projects’ sustainability, energy efficiency and clean energy day was told this morning.

The study, commissioned by Saudi Arabia’s Electricity Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA) at the start of 2015, calls for a holistic study of energy consumption in all sectors of the Saudi economy using a non-intrusive load monitoring methodology. Saudi Arabia is the first country to the world to apply this methodology.

“We are looking at all elements of the supply side and this is a huge challenge,” DNV GL Energy’s Middle East area manager for energy Mohammed Atif said. “When looking at a system holistically you can see that you can reduce consumption by 30 per cent but if the system plan is not changing, you will have gained efficiency on sustainability side, but at a huge cost to the kingdom in the form of unused capacity.”

“We are using machine learning techniques to model system and maximise efficiency,” Atif said. “By using data analytics and information from smart meters and smart grids, utilities can save hundreds of millions of dollars. That is an example of the power of modern techniques.”

The kingdom’s been building about 4GW of power capacity a year to meet soaring electricity demand. Capacity of more than 120GW may be needed to meet demand in 2030, some forecasters say. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are being pressed to increase the price consumers pay for electricity as a way of cutting domestic energy demand growth.

Saudi Mega Projects is being held the Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel on 8-10 December 2015. The strategic event partner is SABB; the gold sponsor is Conrac; the silver sponsor is Autodesk and the bronze sponsor is Pace. Viewpoint is lunch sponsor. The conference sponsors are Hill International; Aconex and Atheeb. Exhibitors are Sika, Salfo Engineering & Management Consultants, Arminox, PAL and Effat University.