Middle East’s focus on solar could spark an energy transformation in region



Solar power will be one of the main energy sources in the Gulf by 2017, as the region capitalises on its plentiful renewable resources.

Organisers of GulfSol 2013, an event dedicated to the solar energy industry, said on Wednesday that the Gulf countries have collectively planned over 570 billion dirham (£103 billion) worth of solar power installation projects.

The UK’s state owned Green Investment Bank is set to be involved, investing 6 billion dirham (£1 billion) alongside energy company Masdar.

GulfSol 2013 will be held in September in Dubai and is expected to be attended by more than 5,000 visitors from around the world.

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have both made bold renewables targets. UAE capital Abu Dhabi has set a goal of generating 7% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while Dubai aims for 5% by 2030.

Last year, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family claimed the country was aiming to generate 100% of its energy from clean and low-carbon sources in the future.

The pair were included in Ernst & Young’s Country Attractiveness Indices – a rundown of the 40 most attractive places for renewables investment in the world – for the first time in November 2012. UEA was 35th while Saudi Arabia was 37th.

Their inclusion reflected the efforts of Middle East and north Africa to achieve an energy transformation, as many countries start to tap into their vast clean energy resources.

Further reading:

Middle Eastern renewables receive encouraging boost 

Libya could produce more energy from renewables than oil, says study

From oil-rich to renewables-rich: a Middle Eastern energy shift?

Oil-rich Qatar looks to sustainability

Middle Eastern renewables receive encouraging boost


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