Middle East moves to embrace solar energySeptember 5, 2013
Middle Eastern countries are growing fonder of renewable energy
As more of the world’s nations begin to focus more heavily on renewable energy, the future of fossil-fuel is becoming uncertain. This could have major economic implications for countries that have long relied on the business involved in supplying other nations with oil. Much of the world’s oil currently comes from Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia. While these countries have access to significant amounts of oil, they too are feeling the pressure to embrace clean power more aggressively. For many Middle Eastern countries, solar energy could be the future.
Saudi Arabia invests heavily in solar power
Last year, Saudi Arabia launched a financing campaign to help support the development of new solar energy projects. The country is devoting approximately $100 billion to the development of solar energy and this initiative is part of the country’s goal to receive no less than a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032. Saudi Arabia is not the only country that has been investing in solar energy, of course.
World’s largest solar system goes online in Abu Dhabi
Earlier this year, the United Arab Emirates activated the world’s largest solar energy system in Abu Dhabi, called the Shams 1. The system is managed by energy firm Masdar and, at peak operation, can account for nearly 10% of the world’s solar thermal power and provides electricity to some 20,000 homes in the United Arab Emirates. Other energy companies are leveraging the capabilities of solar energy to combat the water shortage that has struck the Middle Eastern region, using the power of the sun to desalinate seawater.
Solar expenditures in the Middle East to outpace that of US and Europe
A recent report from market research firm IHS shows that solar expenditures in the Middle East, South America, and Africa could increase by 40% annually through 2017. The report notes that expenditures in the U.S. and Europe will only grow by 10% over the same period. Globally, the report shows that spending in the solar sector is likely to hit $3 billion by the end of 2014.