In an interview with the website, Sitaram Chodimella, head of smart grid division, Middle East at Siemens, said a number of countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an economic and political union of all Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been piloting smart grid projects.
Mr Chodimella said: There are plenty of [smart grid] activities across all the utilities in the region. As a first step they want to do the piloting to see that this is the right technology to apply before doing a mass roll out across their larger networks.
We foresee that in the next one or two years the pilots will be completed by most of the GCC countries and then we will see large scale deployment of metering and of distinct demand side and distribution management systems, he added.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the way in terms of pilot projects due to the size of their economies but every country in the region is evaluating their smart grid requirements, Chodimella said.
Huge electricity demand growth, regional interconnection of power grids, and the potential for renewable energy, provide major opportunities for companies engaged in the smart grid sector in the Middle East, he added.
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