Middle East Drift Towards Renewable Energy

Release Date: 16-May-2013

The world’s largest producer of oil and gas is finding it increasingly difficult to suffice its own needs. An unprecedented increase in population and growth in industrial and economic activity has triggered newfound interest in renewable energy development for six major Middle Eastern economies. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, together knows as the Gulf Cooperation Council, have turned their focus towards the exploitation of renewable sources of energy present in the region. A recent report “Middle East Renewable Energy Sector Analysis” by KuicK Research has highlighted their increasing interest in renewable energy and their methodology for its development.

Essentially an oil producing region, the economy of the Middle East countries are highly dependent on their exports of crude oil and natural gas and even oil derivatives but the economic growth in the last few years has increased the domestic consumption leading to a disturbed production–export balance, resulting in decreasing exports, thus, moving towards an impending financial crisis. Electricity production is the most energy intensive industry in these countries and is produced mostly from fossil fuels. The climatic conditions of the region make air conditioning a must resulting in more than average power consumption as compared to the rest of the world. About 99% of water in these countries comes from desalination, another energy consuming process, working mainly on gas feeds. Water and electricity together are the most energy consuming sectors in the region and some of these countries are the highest per capita consumers of power and water. With depleting oil and gas reserves and export quotas and commitments to fulfill, it is vital for the GCC countries to diversify and look at renewable sources of energy for power and water production.

The Middle East region is one of the world’s largest carbon emitter but the perception is bound to change with the kind of initiatives the respective governments are taking for renewable energy development. The report suggests that the total renewable energy investment has reached USD 148 Billion in research studies and live projects installed and planned. This indicates the seriousness with which renewable energy is being approached by the national governments.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Oman have each declared their plans to produce at least 10% of electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2020 and are leaving no stone unturned to secure their future with renewable sources of energy, the report implies.

The research report is an intriguing text that gives facts and projected figures about the paradoxical situation arising in the world, with the world’s largest oil and gas providers looking at renewable sources to light their own bulbs. The report meticulously takes through each country’s electricity and water situation and then its renewable energy efforts along with policies and regulations. It is packed with information and adds a special feature on the GCC interconnection grid that will be fed with power from the renewable sources of energy in the coming years and also gives the potential renewable sources of energy and the future scenario of the Middle East region with the latest developments. 


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