Meeting the Growing Energy Demand in the Middle East
How the Middle East Is Diversifying for the Future
The development of alternative energy sources is an integral element of the national strategies of countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Clean energy has made striking gains in the GCC over the past five years. From niche technologies with limited application beyond small-scale pilot projects, the project pipeline has grown to almost 7 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation capacity.1 Assuming a house uses 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, one GW is enough to power 100,000 homes.
Location, Location, Location
The countries of the GCC are situated in one of the most energy resource-rich regions in the world. Home to nearly a third of the world’s oil and more than a fifth of global gas reserves – most of which are concentrated amongst the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar - this remains one of the world’s key centres of conventional oil and gas supply.2 However, to meet the demands associated with population and economic growth, there is a recognisable shift towards alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind and nuclear.
1: IRENA. Renewable Energy Market Analysis: GCC 2019, International Renewable Energy Agency. https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2019/Jan/IRENA_Market_Analysis_GCC_2019.pdf [Accessed 02 May 2021]
2: Laura El Katiri and Muna Husain, Prospects for Renewable Energy in GCC States: Opportunities and the Need for Reform https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MEP-10.pdf [Accessed 02 May 2021]