Introduction to Energy in Syria

Syria is blessed with fossil fuels as well as renewable energy resources. There are substantial reserves of natural gas. However, rapidly declining oil reserves and decreasing oil production will adversely affect the economy’s growth, which has averaged 4.5 % in the past three years, due mainly to oil. Oil production fell to 394,000 barrels a day in 2007 (6.5 % fall on the previous year), steadily falling from its peak of 604,000 barrels a day in 1996 and is set to shrink further until reserves run out, currently estimated to be within ten years. Currently oil makes the largest contribution to the primary energy supply, followed by natural gas. The share of oil in the energy mix has been declining steadily, which is being replaced by natural gas as a result of a national strategy.

The primary energy consumption of Syria in 2007 was 23.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) and is forecast to increase to 45.21 Mtoe by the year 2020. This rate of development will result in increasing pressure on Syrian’s fossil fuel reserves. Electricity generation represents 35 % of primary energy consumption. In 2007, this was about 42,000 GWh and is expected to rise to 96,000 GWh in 2020. The Syrian national power system reaches to over 99 % of the population.

By the end of 2006 the total installed capacity was 7,037 MW, while the actually available capacity was 6,008 MW. Installed capacity was covered by 50.4 % steam turbines, 18.8 % gas turbines, 9.1 % combined cycle plants and 21.7 % hydroelectric plants. Demand for electricity peaked on December 27, 2005 at 6,008 MW.

There is global awareness and support for the development of environmentally sustainable means of electricity generation. For Syria, most of the energy demand is expected to come from hydrocarbon energy sources for the near future. This will have local and global environmental effects due to rising Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The GHG emissions in the energy sector during 1990 were 24.97 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, and during 2007 were 67 million tonnes, and they are expected to increase to 80 million tonnes by the year 2010.

For Syria to move towards a sustainable future energy profile, there must be a reduction of GHG emissions. This may be partly achieved through the use of renewable energy technologies, mainly solar and wind energy and hydroelectricity and biomass.

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