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What is the reason for the gulf countries to turn to renewable energy?

2019-11-11

Traditional energy countries in the gulf cooperation council (GCC) are embracing renewable energy at an unprecedented rate as global leaders see it as a way to address the climate change crisis, according to the international renewable energy agency (IRENA).For the gulf states, renewable energy enhances energy security, supports economic diversification, and offers countries with abundant renewable energy resources the opportunity to fully tap their economic potential and become energy leaders for a second time.


So what is driving the gulf's rapid embrace ofrenewable energy?There are five reasons for the following analysis


1. Renewable energy is the most practical and accessible climate solution.According to IRENA's analysis, the accelerated deployment of renewable energy in gulf countries could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 136 million tons.


2. Renewable energy is the most competitive way to generate electricity in the region.The business case is a central motivator in the gulf's transition to renewable energy.Today, renewable energy has replaced conventional energy as the most cost-competitive source of new electricity generation in the gulf cooperation council (GCC).The united Arab emirates recently awarded a minimum price of 1.7 cents per KWh for a 900MW solar pv project.


3. The GCC region has great potential for renewable energy - not justsolar.In all GCC countries, led by Oman, Saudi Arabia and the united Arab emirates, the application potential ofsolar photovoltaictechnology is huge.Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia also have good wind energy resources.Technologies such as biomass energy and geothermal power generation also have great potential and need to be developed.According to IRENA's analysis, based on the 2018 target, the GCC will have 72GW of renewable energy installed by 2030 if it can be achieved.


4. Renewable energy has created a large number of jobs.According to IRENA, renewable energy is expected to create more than 207,000 jobs in the region by 2030, with solar technology accounting for 89 per cent. The popularity of photovoltaic rooftop solutions alone could employ 23,000 people in the region.


5.Renewable energy can save water.Water scarcity is a serious challenge for the region, with four of the six gulf cooperation council members ranked among the world's 10 most water-scarce countries, according to the world resources institute.One of the fastest growing human populations in the world, the region's demand for water is expected to increase fivefold by 2050.If GCC member states meet their renewable energy targets, this could lead to a 17 per cent reduction in water withdrawals and a 12 per cent reduction in water consumption in the region's electricity sector


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