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May 23, 2017

Advances in energy storage technology will lead to a huge transformation of the Middle East and Africa’s energy market in the next decade.

That was the message from Sami Khoreibi, CEO of the transformative energy company Enviromena, as he spoke to the World Economic Forum in Jordan this week.

Mr Khoreibi, who founded Enviromena in 2007, says battery technology has the potential to give countries their own self-sufficient, 24 hour electricity generation systems. That in turn, he says, will have a huge impact on the price of energy and the region’s economy in a wider context.

Falling solar costs

Speaking on the transforming energy panel at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa at the Dead Sea in Jordan, he said: “Between 2011 and 2015 China’s capacity of solar module production increased by six times. It was a huge contributor in the decline of cost of solar. That same type of increase is occuring in lithium ion batteries today. Between 2016 and 2020 we’re looking at a six-fold increase in lithium-ion battery capacity.

“We’re seeing massive declines in the cost of solar plus storage. And that means we’re moving towards a renewable baseload energy system.”

Other panellists at the World Economic Forum included Iraq’s oil minister, Jabbar Al Luaibi, and Dietmar Siersdorfer, chief executive of Siemens Middle East. Mr Khoreibi said: “Currently in the Middle East and North Africa we have a grid which relies on multiple energy elements, like solar, gas, oil and coal.

“In the next 10 years we’re going to be at the point where, for about $0.05/kWh we’ll be producing 24 hour electricity, very consistently and eliminating the need to import things like coal from other countries to balance the grid.

Self reliant countries

“That becomes a huge value proposition with countries producing their own energy without having to depend on foreign sources. The benefits of countries producing their own energy without having to depend on foreign sources is huge and that’s not even touching on the environmental impact.

“The advancement of storage technologies, particularly in the context of use with solar, is going to lead to a huge transformation of the way we approach energy in the next 10 years.

“However, there are other factors to consider. For example, the cost and value of oil is likely to be affected if countries can create consistent energy from solar and batteries. As a region that is dependent on the revenues of oil – we need to understand the implications of this.”

Mr Khoreibi adds that the cost of energy is likely to fall with increased use of solar and battery storage. “When Enviromena first started building solar installations in 2007 the cost per kWh per plant was around $US0.35. Today we’re closer to $US0.03, which is a huge shift.

“That will please end users, who ultimately don’t seem to mind where their kWh are coming from, as long as they are cheap. To most, energy is agnostic.”

18 May, 2017

Enviromena has been named as one of the top 100 start-ups in the Arab world for its role in cultivating the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4iR).

Enviromena, the leading provider of transformative energy solutions in the MENA region, says it will use the accolade to raise awareness of clean energy innovations among its peers.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been defined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a new era in the global economy. It is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

Identified as a top 100 Arab world start-up by the WEF and the International Finance Corporation, Enviromena was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Sami Khoreibi, who has also been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the WEF.

Under his leadership Enviromena has pioneered the development of renewable power in the region. Its accolades include building the Middle East’s first grid connected, utility-scale photovoltaic plant and going on to deliver the broadest footprint of clean energy projects across nine MENA countries.

Enviromena will attend The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa at the Dead Sea in Jordan this week (May 19-21) to share its success story with its peers. It will also use the summit as an opportunity to share the latest innovations in solar and renewable energy.

Sami Khoreibi said: “It’s an honour to be listed as one of the top 100 Arab world start-ups. As a company at the forefront of clean energy innovations, we’re looking forward to sharing our expertise with other businesses and working together to move the sector forward.”

The list was created by the WEF and International Finance Corporation in collaboration with the region’s leading authorities on the entrepreneurship ecosystem, including Wamda, Flat6Labs, Kawar Investments and Leap Ventures.

Putting the Fourth Industrial Revolution in context, the WEF says the speed of the current technological breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.

To find out more about the list and the forthcoming World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa visit https://www.weforum.org/

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