Why GCC Region is Focusing on Renewable Energy?

Release Date: 11-Jan-2013

The Middle East is shifting focus from its most prized asset, hydrocarbons. Oil and gas, though, still dominates the trade in and out of the Middle East but it is looking to develop its renewable sources of energy as well. The Gulf Cooperation Countries, consisting of six major nations of the Middle Eastern part of the world have started to take the renewable energy way, contrary to their most important possession, non renewable. There has been an increase in the domestic consumption of hydrocarbons. The growing economy with growing population has affected a growth in the urbanization in these nations which has resulted in an increase in consumption of oil and gas. The growing population demands more electricity, power plants based majorly on non renewable sources. The Middle East is one region in the world that requires energy even for drinking water which is produced by desalination of sea water. Growing population means more demand of water requiring more energy. The increasing in house consumption of energy sources has the Middle East worried over the increasing share it has to divert domestically, leaving comparatively lesser for export.

The economy of the GCC region almost entirely depends on the export of oil and gas to the major markets in the world, Asia Pacific and Europe. With an increase in domestic consumption, as is being predicted, the quantity available for export will keep on reducing leading to a decrease in revenue, jolting the whole economy on the countries. The signs of decrease in the oil and gas exports have already begun to show reflecting in the decreased petro dollars from the commodities and the governments increasingly trying to diversify their industries. The nations have started realizing that they can’t depend on oil and gas forever to produce electricity and water and have, thus, now started looking towards renewable sources of energy for power generation. This can be seen by comparing the production consumption of the whole of GCC region.

The GCC countries, due to their arid climatic conditions, enjoy a great deal of sunlight throughout the year. The solar potential of the GCC countries is supposed to be one of the highest in the world. GCC is a rainless region which experiences clear skies for 80% of the year, thus, continuous solar radiation for a major part of the year.

The average solar radiation of the GCC countries is among the highest in the world. The region receives maximum solar energy from April to August before falling down. Even in the months preceding and succeeding these, the solar radiation is quite strong. In all, the GCC region receives considerable solar energy for eight months of a year, March through October.

 For more information visit: GCC Renewable Energy Sector Analysis  

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