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.