The Middle East and North African Utilities Industry is in a state of growth, global investment has meant that the Middle East is officially on the road to recovery. Investment banks are increasing their spending within the utilities sector. Maintaining the correct balance between supply and demand has meant large scale investment such as the recent $1.8bn going to the SEC (Saudi Electric Company) and more than $5.4bn is being spent in Dubai to increase their power capacity from 6000MW to 9800MW by the end of 2011.

But how do they plan to spend new investments and meet demand? This is the question on every ones lips at the NGU MENA Summit hosted by GDS international in Abu Dhabi.

“One key factor facing the utilities industry is emphasis on using environmentally sustainable resources and smart technology to reduce the environmental impact.” Said a spokesperson for the illustrious NGU 20 consortium chaired by Mr Fareed Al Yogout, President National Power Company Saudi Arabia and Mr Khalil Issa, CEO Energy Central Company.

The MENA region is already one step ahead in harnessing the power of its abundant sun. Global investment is coming in thick and fast entering the multibillion dollar solar market and the returns so far have been incomparable.

The World Bank plans to invest more than $5.5bn in solar energy projects around the MENA region through there Clean Energy Fund (CTF) in a hope to accelerate the global deployment of PV (Photovoltaic’s) and concentrated solar power generation facilities. With huge production the potential for export revenue is an exciting prospect for investors and one that hasn’t gone unmissed by attendees at the NGU MENA summit.

New technology is also key in the growth of the MENA energy markets. The UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain are close to achieving their collective goal of a joint power grid for all six member states. The grids aim is to supply adequate power even in an emergency situation and to reduce the cost of power generation to all six states.

“Investment into new technology and green energy solutions offer growth potential and a bright future for the MENA region. This is being capitalized on by industry leaders, but a platform to discuss collaborations, concerns and investments is key to move forward” Kieran Crawford - Summit Director

The Middle East region is firmly back on track to become one of the largest and most lucrative energy markets globally and the meeting of some of the leading names in the utilities at the NGU MENA demonstrates this has not gone unnoticed by the industry.