smart grids

The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation and Belgian consultancy Elia Grid have signed an agreement to share knowledge experience around smart grid developmentAccording to Trade Arabia, the agreement is aimed at encouraging the sharing of information, experiences and ideas to foster transmission development, network planning, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) enhancement, better asset management exchanging technical information and joint co-operation.

The agreement was signed by Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari, the president of Kahramaa, and Markus Berger, the chief executive of Elia Grid International, on the sidelines of the ongoing ‘GCC Power 2016 Conference & Exhibition’ at Doha.

"Under the MoU we intend to exchange information and expertise to develop a relation between Kahramaa and Elia Grid International,” stated Al Kuwari at the signing ceremony in the presence of the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada.

Changing the KPIs for the distribution of power, developing smart grid concept and renewable energy concept are the key objectives of this collaboration,” he added.

Qatar smart meters

In related news, Middle East smart meters rollouts continue as Qatar expects to complete the first phase of a deployment in 2016. [Middle East smart meters: Qatar to finish phase one in 2016]

State-owned utility Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation, known as Kahramaa, will reportedly replace all analogue meters in the Doha area of its service territory by 2016.

The rollout forms part of a government-approved smart meter programme launched in January 2015.

Qatar has opted for a smart water and electricity meter system using GPRS as its communication method.

According to an industry study, the Middle East smart meters market is forecast to reach 16.1 million units by 2022 with 86% of homes and businesses in the region expected to have smart meters by the same year.

In June 2014, US company Northeast Group predicted that Middle East and North African (MENA) countries will spend US$9.8 billion on smart grid infrastructure by 2024, including smart meters, distribution automation and smart city technology.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, explains: "MENA countries are taking a two-pronged approach to addressing their power sector challenges. [Sigfox expands IoT services into Middle East and Africa]

"The first is the installation of over 26 GW of solar capacity by 2024, led by Saudi Arabia, which will allow them to reduce their reliance on oil and gas power generation.

"The second approach is to deploy smart grid infrastructure that will help incorporate this solar power, enable better electricity demand management and improve reliability."