Renewable energy accounted for 867 megawatts out of the 146 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in Gulf countries at the end of 2017, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to IRENA's new report published Tuesday, this represents a four-fold increase on capacity in 2014. Following the U.A.E. is Saudi Arabia with a 16 percent share and Kuwait with 9 percent of regional capacity.
IRENA’s new Renewable Energy Market Analysis: GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council countries] 2019, which launched during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week from Jan. 12 to 19, said that "achieving the stated 2030 targets could bring significant economic benefits to the region including the creation of more than 220,000 new jobs while saving over 354 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) in regional power sectors."
"The targets could reduce the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 136 million tonnes (22 percent reduction), while cutting water withdrawals in the power sector by 11.5 trillion liters (17 percent reduction) in 2020," the report underlined.
With renewable energy targets now in place across the region, the GCC is now poised for a significant acceleration in renewables deployment as countries in the region pursue national goals.
"Under current plans, the region will install a total of almost 7 GW of new power generation capacity from renewable sources by the early 2020s," the report showed.
The report also stated that abundant resources, together with strong enabling frameworks have led to solar PV prices of below $0.03 per kilowatt-hour and dispatchable concentrated solar power of $0.073 per kilowatt-hour -- a rate that is less than some utilities in the region pay for natural gas.
By Gulsen Cagatay