The Economist article, “Arab states are embracing solar power” mentions that one of the world’s largest solar farm is in the southern desert in Benban Egypt, this solar farm is only one of its 40 fields.
Big solar projects are also appearing in Abu Dhabi, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar. Between 2008 to 2012, investments in solar energy has increased by 12 folds, the Economist article says.
The recent collapse in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic might be the push that leads them to diversify investments in other than oil or heed to a global call for clean and renewable energy to address climate change.
Happening in the middle east according to the article are:
- Renewable energy capacity has doubled to 40 gigawatts (GW) in the past ten years and is set to double again by 2024.
- One-third of Morocco’s energy source is from renewables compared to the EU, which is only 18%.
- They find solar farms to be cheaper, faster, and safer to build and maintain than oil and gas plants.
- Solar energy is cheaper to generate at 2/3 of the cost of gas and a third of the cost of oil even at today’s low prices.
However, these developments in renewable energy come with some challenges. For instance, political instability, regional turmoil and conflicts between neighbouring countries have either scared investors away or thwarted some projects.
Regardless, these developments are very encouraging for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
One representative from renewable-energy projects in Saudi says that they have seen an acceleration in tenders during the Covid-19 pandemic, as private companies are looking at business opportunities in renewable energy, the article says.
Read the entire article by clicking on the link below:
For your added information, we are sharing this video of the Benban Solar Park, the biggest in the world.
Arab states are embracing solar power. (7 May 2020). The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2020/05/07/arab-states-are-embracing-solar-power?utm_campaign=the-climate-issue&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=salesforce-marketing-cloud&utm_term=2020-05-18&utm_content=ed-picks-article-link-7
Elsewedy Electric (2020, January 21). Benban Solar Park [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SidQr5SNmbo