The coming 18 months will see the next two UN climate change conferences take place in the Middle East, with Cop 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022 and Cop 28 in Abu Dhabi in November 2023.
The events highlight the region’s commitment to decarbonisation and sustainable development, and confirm that energy transition is now among the highest priorities for Middle East policymakers.
Gulf oil producers are on a mission to transform from global oil and gas suppliers to energy transition leaders. The move aims to ensure the region remains at the forefront of the world’s energy industry, enabling governments to shift away from overconsumption and dependence on hydrocarbons. The change will create new opportunities for business for decades, particularly in the projects industry.
Governments have set ambitious clean energy targets, with Dubai the most aggressive, aiming for 75 per cent of its energy to come from clean sources by 2050. About 98GW of new renewables capacity is planned across the region, with 39GW to come on stream by 2025.
Governments must also ensure adequate power and water to meet the needs of growing populations. Electricity demand rises by about 5 per cent a year across the region. With a shortage of gas supplies and the need to decarbonise, expanding renewables capacity is crucial.
There is plenty of room for growth. The region’s renewable energy installed production capacity stands at about 28GW, meaning renewables represent only 7 per cent of power generation capacity.
The world’s biggest and cheapest solar projects are found in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Dubai
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Qatar are investing in pioneering clean energy projects to establish the region as a hub for developing clean technologies and exporting hydrogen fuel.
Tapping the region’s abundant, low-cost solar energy to produce ‘green’ hydrogen from water sustainably generates huge interest from governments and investors.
At the heart of the Middle East’s energy transition is the need to rethink how cities are designed, built and operated. Saudi Arabia has created a National Transformation Project to integrate sustainable development goals into its Vision 2030 planning process, while the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan maps out a comprehensive plan for sustainable urban development.
For more information and sample pages from MEED Insight's Middle East Energy Transition premium intelligence report, please click here
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