The Middle East has been making massive efforts toward sustainable development, including transitioning to renewable energy. Numerous large-scale initiatives, most notably those using solar power, have put renewable energy sources at the forefront of regional discussions. Despite the region’s historical importance to the world’s supply of fossil fuels, it is now diversifying its energy portfolio by investing in low-carbon alternatives. The GCC nations such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Kuwait are actively working to improve the proportion of renewable energy sources in their total energy consumption.
The Saudi Power Procurement Co. has just begun operation on five new power plant projects. New and innovative renewable energy projects are being developed across the region, which is also creating job opportunities for people. With 3.5 gigatonnes, Egypt topped the area in renewable energy production, according to the study. After that, the United Arab Emirates came in second with 2.6 GT, followed by Morocco with 1.9 GT.
1. Sudair Solar Power Plant
As a single-contracted solar photovoltaic facility, the Sudair Solar Power Plant has the potential to be among the world’s biggest solar structures. The facility’s 1.5GW of generating capacity will make it the biggest of its kind in Saudi Arabia. In August 2021, the project’s financial closure was reached at a total cost of $906.0m (SAR3.4bn). ACWA Power headed the project. The plant is anticipated to provide enough energy to power around 185,000 Saudi homes when operating at full capacity while mitigating 2.9 Mt of carbon emissions annually.
2. Al Dhafra Solar Project
The groundbreaking project, situated some 35 kilometres from the Abu Dhabi metropolis, will have a power output of 2 GW. When the facility runs at full capacity, it will help cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.4 million tons annually. The facility is expected to use around 3.5 million solar panels to supply energy to approximately 160,000 residences across the UAE.
3. Hatta Wind Power Project
The UAE’s first wind farm, with a projected 28MW capacity, will be built at Hatta in the Hajar Mountains. This project, which is being led by DEWA and is also a component of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, is now conducting a feasibility study. It is anticipated that the project will need a total expenditure of around AED1.42 billion ($386.52 million). Further, the facility will become operational in the first half of 2024, making it the first hydroelectric plant of its type in the Arab Peninsula.
4. Manah 1 and 2 Solar Projects
With a capacity of 500GW each, the Manah 1 and 2 Solar IPPs will be a major contributor to the region’s renewable energy needs. Manah 1 and 2 are two solar power plants that will help Oman diversify its energy portfolio. They will help the region meet its goal of producing 30% of its electricity from clean energy by 2030. These projects are slated to enter full-scale commercial operation in early 2024. A total of $780 million will be invested in the project, which will be managed by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).