According to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy will help members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) save around $76 billion by the end of 2030.
Over the years, countries in the Middle East have rapidly increased their investment in renewable energy and cut down their dependency on unclean power sources. The UAE alone accounts for 68 percent of the GCC’s installed renewable energy capacity. The UAE has also pledged to meet half of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2050.
According to IRENA, GCC’s installed renewable power capacity has increased four-fold between 2014 and 2017. This figure highlights GCC members’ commitment to cut down carbon emission and its willingness to fight climate change.
Driven by the necessity for greater energy security, GCC economies have also established strategies for a broader energy mix, with nuclear, coal, and renewable choices such as solar and wind.
Yousif Al Ali, Acting Executive Director for Clean Energy at Masdar told the media, “Without question, in recent years, energy sources such as wind and solar have entered the mainstream.”
Earlier this year, commercial operations began in the Noor Abu Dhabi power plant, the world’s largest solar project. Covering an area of eight square kilometres, the solar park has around 3.2 solar panels. Developed at a cost of $870 million, the solar park will provide energy to around 90,000 people in the UAE.
The Noor Abu Dhabi plant is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Government and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni and China’s Jinko Solar.
Another report published by IRENA at the beginning of this year revealed that renewable energy could help members of GCC create more than 220, 000 new jobs.