Political unrest in Syria has not cooled the enthusiasm of 13 companies vying to develop the first privately owned wind project in the country.
The bidders for a Syrian government contract to install and own up to 100 megawatts (mw) of wind-powered electricity generating capacity include the Danish enterprise Vestas Wind Systems, Terna Energy of Greece and the Spanish companies Fersa Energias Renovables and Ingenieria Y Construccion.
Contenders from the Levant region include Turkey's Fina Enerji Holdings. Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries is also planning to bid, suggesting business in the North African state is returning to normal after the revolution this year that ousted Hosni Mubarak from the presidency.
"No bidder has shown a desire to withdraw from the project due to the current unrest," Richard Kupisz, an associate director at the consultancy IPA Energy and Water Economics, told Bloomberg News. The Syrian electricity ministry has hired the Londoncompany to evaluate the bids.
The recent political turmoil in parts of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) has sent oil markets into a tizzy, with speculators sending prices higher by placing record bets on future disruptions in crude supplies. But the green-energy revolution also starting to spread through the region may be largely unaffected.
Apart from Libya, regional energy developments in general, including those related to oil and gas, may be barely touched by what has been called the Arab awakening.
Whichever regimes come to power, the oil-producing countries in the region "will be wanting to supply oil and gas and will want to provide jobs and improved living standards" to their nationals, said Noe van Hulst, the secretary general of the International Energy Forum, a group that fosters dialogue between energy producers and consumers.
But in much of the Middle East an adequate power supply - needed to raise or maintain living standards - has been an elusive goal for many governments seeking to expand and diversify state economies.
In some countries, frequent power cuts have strengthened the regional groundswell of political discontent. In Iraq last summer, they provoked violent demonstrations in the southern province of Basra, where many of the country's largest oilfields are located.
Saudi Arabia, the region's biggest oil producer, signalled early last week it would aim to maintain its current output capacity of 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd) until at least 2030, an undertaking likely to require many billions of dollars of investment to offset expected production declines from maturing oilfields.
Majid al Moneef, the Opec governor from Saudi, said the kingdom's oil output could rise by 30 per cent to 10.8 million bpd by 2030, with spare capacity of 1.7 million bpd.
The Syrian renewable-power project calls for the construction of one or more wind farms with power generating capacities of between 50mw and 100mw to be built at Al Sukhna, 70km east of Palmyra, or at Al Hijana, 50km south of Damascus, or at both.
As in much of the Middle East, power demand in Syria has been growing faster than the country's gas output in recent years.
Meanwhile, the country's oil production has fallen. The Levant state is therefore seeking to develop alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar power, to conserve its oil and gas.