A renewable energy future for the Gulf? – COP 18


The International Renewable Energy Agency joined forces with Saudi Arabia and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems to give international experts and representatives from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries the opportunity to discuss the region’s growing strategic focus on renewable energy.

"The GCC countries are ideally suited to the rapid introduction of renewable energy”, said Eicke Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute.

The meeting highlighted the increasing importance of renewable energy in facilitating the prospects for a sustainable future. The Gulf, in particular, has a key role to play in the transition to a diversified energy system, with its vast solar and other renewable resources.

As underlined by Mona Al Madeed, Manager of the Directorate for Strategic Planning and Policy of Qatar Petroleum, "Renewable energy is an important source of energy for many factors. The most important is energy diversification and economic diversification, and the invaded demand for power generation and water desalination."

Abdulrahman Al Ghabban, from the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE, Saudi Arabia) predicted a huge growth from now until 2032 -to respond to the increased demand for energy- adding, “We hope to contribute a large amount of the new required capacity from alternative energy”.

In order to meet growing domestic demand and to promote sustainable energy use, nearly all GCC countries have set renewable energy targets, and a growing number of large-scale solar projects are being developed across the region.

"Many of our utilities and the policy makers are not aware of the cost of renewables. We see a huge drop in prices. Awareness is really one of the main things we have to start working on. We need to ensure a fair evaluation of projects", commented Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, of the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Directorate of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

IRENA is also releasing its newest set of “Renewable Energy Country Profiles” for the Middle East, the latest in a series of regional profiles that include Africa, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Renewable Energy in the Gulf Region IRENA side-event ,PPT presented