Prime Energy Challenges for Operating Power Plants in the GCC


There is a false notion of existing available, abundant, and long lasting fuel energy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries; with continual income return from its exports. This is not true as the sustainability of this income is questionable. Energy problems started to appear, and can be intensified in coming years due to continuous growth of energy demands and consumptions. The demands already consume all produced Natural Gas (NG) in all GCC, except Qatar; and the NG is the needed fuel for Electric Power (EP) production. These countries have to import NG to run their EP plants. Fuel oil production can be locally consumed within two to three decades if the current rate of consumed energy prevails. The returns from selling the oil and natural gas are the main income to most of the GCC. While NG and oil can be used in EP plants, NG is cheaper, cleaner, and has less negative effects on the environment than fuel oil. Moreover, oil has much better usage than being burned in steam generators of steam power plants or combustion chambers of gas turbines. Introducing renewable energy or nuclear energy may be a necessity for the GCC to keep the flow of their main income from exporting oil. This paper reviews the GCC productions and consumptions of the prime energy (fuel oil and NG) and their role in electric power production. The paper shows that, NG should be the only fossil fuel used to run the power plants in the GCC. It also shows that the all GCC except Qatar, have to import NG. They should diversify the prime energy used in power plants; and consider alternative energy such as nuclear and renewable energy, (solar and wind) energy.

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M. Darwish and R. Mohtar, "Prime Energy Challenges for Operating Power Plants in the GCC," Energy and Power Engineering, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2013, pp. 109-128. doi: 10.4236/epe.2013.51011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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