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Solar Energy Ready to Take Off in MENA Region

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Published on : Oct 08, 2015

The Middle East and North Africa region will soon witness a high development in the solar sector. Predominantly, fossil fuel has been the energy source. However, the potential of the MENA region is high in terms of producing solar power. In the Gulf region, there is enough unoccupied land that receives abundance of solar energy.

However, why is the MENA region that has primarily relied on fossil fuels shifting its focus towards solar energy? This is because it is more cost effective. Around the world, countries are increasingly adopting other alternative energy resources such as solar and wind power to meet their domestic energy demand. Similarly, the MENA region will be investing heavily in the solar power sector in the coming few years.

The growing adoption of solar power in the MENA region is projected to not only meet the domestic demand for energy, but also boost oil exports. As countries in the MENA region will be able to free up more amount of oil that can be directed for the purpose of sale and export.

Several ambitious projects have already been declared in the MENA region. Take the example of the announcement from the state-owned Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) that said they will be tripling their solar energy targets and will be pursuing a goal of drawing around 15 per cent of power capacity from solar power by end of 2030. In Jordan, to mitigate the Master Strategy of the Energy Sector in Jordan has set a new target that said 10 percent of the nation’s energy supply will come from renewables by end of 2020.

In Morocco, Phase I construction of the Ouarzazate Solar Complex has begun and many successful bidders have already been locked for Phase 2 and Phase 3. By end of 2020, it is projected that the MENA region will invest around US$50 bn in the solar energy sector