GCC region is shifting focus from its most prized asset, hydrocarbons. Oil and gas, though, still dominates the trade in and out of the GCC Region but it is looking to develop its renewable sources of energy as well. All the GCC countries have started to take the renewable energy way, contrary to their most important possession, non renewable (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 GCC region 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 GCC region 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.
The financial capability of the GCC Region countries to support the advent of renewable energy in their power system is beyond a doubt. However, renewable energy initiatives still take a back seat in the energy agenda of these countries mainly because of it being the comparatively more expensive source of power than the subsidized fossil fuel power generation and distribution. But the ample solar power availability and wind power in some regions are factors which when seen together with the need and the opportunities obtainable are big enough to attract attention of the industry majors.
Solar holds the key to renewable energy development in the GCC region as it is the single most abundant renewable source of energy available there. 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 solar radiation that the GCC region receives is enough to encourage the photovoltaic and concentrating solar power industries in the region. This gives two options of generating electricity through the solar energy, ample amounts of which are available and can be exploited thoroughly. As the region is moving towards renewable energy, solar power is being deemed as the top renewable source which will be exploited for power production. The results of the solar radiation studies have encouraged more and more investment in the sector.
“Emerging Renewable Energy Implementation in GCC”: Report Highlights: