GCC countries plan to pump up to $100 billion into renewable energy projects over the next 20 years, according to the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). Dr. Samira Ahmad Omar, director-general of KISR, told Kuwait News Agency that such robust funding aims to meet the growing energy consumption in the GCC states, estimated at three percent a year.
In a speech to the opening ceremony of the 6th Middle East and North Africa Renewable Energy Conference, she attributed the increasing demand for energy to economic transformations, including the tendency towards establishing industrial and service bases, and the growth of population, KUNA said. "The environmental challenges relating to pollution and global warming left us with no choice other than relying heavily on clean and renewable energy, which is the focus of energy research circles worldwide," she was quoted as saying.
She added: "The GCC states, as well as other countries in the Middle East and Africa, have promising opportunities in the field of exploitation of the solar energy given the fact that they enjoy equatorial climate and sun shining rates of 1,400 to 1,800 hours a year."
A few years ago, KISR launched Al-Saqaya renewable energy complex, which covers an area of 100 sq km, with a compound capacity of 200,000 megawatts, she said, adding that the project will go operational by the end of 2016.
In January, Dubai's Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said it was calling on consulting firms to tender for advisory and regulatory development services for the emirate's planned 100 billion dirham ($27 billion) clean energy fund.
The "Dubai Green Fund", announced in November, will provide low-cost loans for investors in Dubai's clean energy sector as part of wider green energy investment programme in the desert city state of 2.4 million people.
Located in the Gulf, one of the hottest regions of the world, Dubai uses large amounts of energy to cool buildings and public spaces and to provide water through energy-intensive desalination plants.