Renewable energy to save GCC $76 billion by 2030
Renewable energy is one of the key goals of governmental visions in the GCC, be it the UAE’s Energy Strategy that aims to generate 50 per cent of its power from renewable sources or Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 that aims to generate 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023.
Research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has suggested that if the GCC realises its renewable energy plans, it could cumulatively save USD 76 billion in costs by 2030.
In line with the goals, GCC countries are rapidly adopting renewable energy sources and building solar and wind farms in the deserts. Just this year, we have seen new 5th phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid solar park launched for tenders, as well as the commercial start of the world’s largest solar plant, Noor in Abu Dhabi, with a capacity of 1,177 megawatts. Just last week, the 1.2 gigawatt Sweihan project also launched commercial operations as per Bloomberg report.
IRENA also indicated that the GCC’s installed power capacity grew four-fold between 2014 and 2017, recognising efforts being made in the region.
The UAE is at the forefront of the renewable energy mission; it is already hosting 68 percent of the GCC’s installed renewable energy capacity. In light of the UAE’s goals of achieving 50% of energy from renewable sources by 2050, Dubai has plans to increase its use of renewable energy to 75 per cent by the same time.
From 13th January to 16th January 2020, Masdar in the UAE will be hosting the Energy Expo & Forum, as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, wherein the leading innovations in the field of solar panels, fuel cells and multiple other energy solutions will be showcased.
"The Energy Expo & Forum provides an unparalleled platform to support the adoption of renewable energy and showcase innovations ranging from solar PV panels and wind turbines to hydrogen fuel cells and waste-to-energy solutions.”Grant Tuchten, Group Event Director, World Future Energy Summit.
Speaking about the Energy Expo and Forum, Tuchten added, "The event connects global energy giants to rapidly-expanding markets and takes regional manufacturers and international start-ups onto the global stage. Our forum is an opportunity to share knowledge and best practices around the latest developments, including those in energy storage, smart grids, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain, and a host of hot topics in sustainability."
The forum aims to provide a global meeting point for governments, energy companies, utility providers, nuclear agencies, and independent power providers, while sharing the new thinking and technologies that are increasingly instrumental to the global transition to clean energy.
Energy forum discussion topics will include financing for solar power, the roles of Artificial Intelligence and blockchain in renewable energy and energy storage, GCC country roadmaps, IRENA research, and outlines for next-generation concentrated solar power plants.
"In recent years, energy sources such as wind and solar have entered the mainstream," said Yousif Al Ali, Acting Executive Director for Clean Energy at Masdar, and host of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. These moves towards greener energy sources have been welcomed in times of climate change across the world. As temperatures rise, the need for clean energy is more than ever before. However, just like every technology in the world, solar and wind power equipment also need improvements to make them more stable, viable and greener.