Shawn Davis Energy Q&A Published by Who’s Who Legal

Akin Gump Abu Dhabi-based cross-border transactions senior counsel Shawn Davis participated in a Q&A conducted by Who’s Who Legal on recent developments in United Arab Emirates’ and the region's energy landscape.

Among the topics covered:

  • Encouraging growth of renewables: “Abu Dhabi reached financial closing of the world’s largest solar power plant (1177MW) in May 2017. The project is demonstrative of the emphasis placed by the government of Abu Dhabi on sustainability and diversifying its energy sources. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) being permanently based in Abu Dhabi shows the commitment of the government of Abu Dhabi to sustainable energy and cooperation in this regard.”
  • Projects favored by investors: “Reverse osmosis (RO) projects are also gaining favour in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including in light of recent enhancements in RO technology and related efficiencies. This becomes increasingly relevant if the decoupling of electricity generation and water desalination increases in the coming years as a consequence of an increase in electrical capacity from solar and renewable power plants.”
  • Upcoming changes in the energy market: “I anticipate a continued emphasis on renewable power projects in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office tendered the 300MW solar PV project in Sakaka in April 2017, and in the third quarter of 2017 is likely to tender a 400MW wind project to be located in Midyan, Saudi Arabia… If [West Texas Intermediate] reaches US$60 per barrel and remains at that level or higher for a period of several months, companies not already committed to increasing exploration may decide to increase their capex and place a greater focus on exploration of oil.”