GCC Energy System Overview – 2017
About the Project
The objective of this project is to assess potential economic and technical gains that could be realized by utilizing the GCC Interconnector to deliver electricity at least-cost across the GCC.
This paper presents datasets that support economic and policy analyses of countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The objective is to provide an overview of the GCC energy systems and serve as a reference for researchers performing quantitative modeling and analysis. The following data have been collected from public sources, using the most recent complete datasets available.
We begin by describing the GCC in terms of electricity systems specific to each country. For each system, we compile and present information about how electricity and water are supplied in terms of technologies and fuels. A key point is the linkage of electricity and water production in the GCC. Power plants typically produce a combination of electricity and water, primarily through desalinating seawater using waste heat. This linkage must be considered when analyzing how energy is transformed in the GCC.
An assessment of fossil and renewable resources follows in the third section. The GCC states are well endowed with fossil and renewable resources. To date, fossil energy has been exploited for export and domestic consumption while the use of renewable resources has been negligible in terms of total primary energy supply.
The fourth section presents government administered fuel prices and electricity tariffs. These provide a context for understanding the composition of the energy and water sectors. Regulated energy prices are a characteristic of the GCC. Administered prices on the supply (electricity production) and demand side (electricity consumption) have been, and continue to be, a key barrier to electricity trade and greater penetration of renewable technologies in the power and water sectors. Ongoing price reforms are expected to improve the prospects of electricity trade and cost-effectiveness of renewables.
Existing energy policies, future targets and power sector reforms are covered in the fifth section. GCC countries have announced plans to both diversify electricity production (by deploying renewables and nuclear capacity) and to reduce demand (through efficiency measures). Recently announced targets in all six GCC states suggest that renewable resources and nuclear energy will be a prominent component of the region’s future energy systems. Almost 80 GW of renewables will be installed, around four times the amount of nuclear power that is planned in the region.
The accompanying datasets are available on the OpenKAPSARC data portal and will be updated as new data are available.
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