OPEC producer Kuwait needs to build solar energy plants and build gas turbine electricity units to avert possible power supply shortages in the next few years, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Tuesday, citing official sources.

The Arabic language daily Alqabas said power consumption was near capacity last summer and that it could surpass output in the next years unless urgent measures are taken to expand electricity generation in the emirate.

It quoted Electricity Ministry sources as saying that power demand during summer peaked at nearly 16,900 megawatts (MW) and that the country’s designed generation capacity is estimated at about 17,250 MW.

“This capacity level is not guaranteed because many of the country’s power facilities are old and the operational life of some has expired….despite this, no steps have been taken to offset the declining production,” the paper said, quoting a source.

It warned that Kuwait could suffer from a power deficit of round 1,000MW in the summer of 2024, which could worsen to nearly 2,000MW and 2,500MW in the summers of 2025 and 2026.

One source said: “This shortage cannot be offset by power supplies from the GCC interconnection which links Kuwait with the other Gulf countries because consumption by some GCC members could peak during that period and the facility provides only limited power supplies.”

According to the report, the problem has been caused by a delay in the execution of some power projects and rejection by the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP of a proposal by the Electricity Ministry to seek global investors to build power stations.

The sources said solutions should include the construction of solar power parks within two years, installation of 500MW of battery energy storage systems in various locations and the purchase of floating power generation vessels to provide more than 900MW within three months.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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