How Middle East Countries Are Transitioning to Renewable Energy
Today, multiple petroleum sites and vast oil reserves are found in the Middle East. However, the region is gradually embracing renewable energy in all its forms. Renewable energy s also known as clean energy. It is energy produced from sources like the sun and wind. Furthermore, this energy is naturally replenished and can never run out. Renewable energy is so important because users can renew it. Furthermore, it makes for an inexpensive way for a country to run its economy.
No doubt, the Middle East is a major marketer of petroleum products. However, the hike in the price of crude oil has made the transition to renewable sources paramount within the region. Policies by many countries in the region and contract awards to green energy companies evidence the Middle East’s adoption of renewable energy. For example, the Middle East Energy Transition reported in 2021 that there were no contract awards to oil and gas stations in the MENA. For renewable energy companies, about $2.8 billion was awarded to develop clean energy.
Three Ways Middle East Countries Are Transitioning to Renewable
Solar and wind power are the major renewable energy sources for this region as these two are constant. Hydrogen and fossil fuels are other renewable sources seen as part of the region’s foreseeable clean future.
Countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt are leading the region to adopt solar as renewable energy. They achieve this by launching billion-dollar projects to ground the use of clean energy. UAE is currently working on about four solar projects spread across the region. These projects contains over 4 million solar panels. Hence, making it one of the largest renewable projects in the world. Egypt aims to increase renewable energy share in electricity by 20% by the end of 2022. The country recently concluded it’s a solar park, helping the country realize its 2022 goal. For Saudi Arabia, its National Renewable Energy Programme has been working on six solar PVs. It aims to generate 58.7GW of renewable energy by 2030.
Like solar, the wind is a major source for the region to step up its renewable energy sources. According to GWEC Market Intelligence, Morocco installed 92MW of wind capacity in 2020. This is followed by Jordan (52MW), Iran (45MW), and Egypt (13MW). In addition, in 2020, Saudi Arabia launched its first wind farm installing about 99 turbines. These turbines are estimated to provide clean energy to over 70,000 households.
Hydrogen fuel is carbon-free and releases only water vapor. This makes it a popular renewable source in the region’s growing energy space. Over the past years, $42 billion has been invested in hydrogen projects. In Saudi Arabia, a hydrogen plant powered by Saudi-based Acwa power is in the works. The UAE has also launched a solar-powered green hydrogen plant estimated to produce 20.5kg of hydrogen. This is only one of the several hydrogen projects that the country is investing in. Hydrogen has become important for the MENA region because it can help decarbonize traditional oil-flared plants.
Renewable energy is a sustainable and greener way to produce power for any nation. The Middle East and its various laudable projects are at the forefront of the full assimilation of clean energy. However, with the ambition of the region to make clean energy over 50% of its energy source by 2050, countries can only meet the fast transition to renewable energy with structures that can achieve this aim.