WFES: scaling renewables in GCC will reap huge social and economic benefits, says IRENA


Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries could reduce their carbon footprint by 8%, save 400 million barrels of oil, create 200,000 jobs and cut water use by 16% by 2030 if renewable energy is adopted in sufficient volumes to hit GCC targets, found an IRENA report presented today at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi.

The report, titled Renewable Energy Market Analysis: The GCC Region, found that the use of oil in the power sector of the region could fall by 25% if renewable energy targets are met, while the UAE specifically could reduce its water consumption by 50%.

“The GCC region has long been a global leader in energy production and can further strengthen this role through the development of its vast renewable energy sources,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s director-general. “In doing so, the region can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save precious water resources, all while meeting its fast-growing energy needs sustainably

Economically and socially, Amin added, the GCC countries could reap the benefits of adopting a greater share of renewables, particularly solar PV and CSP, where the majority of jobs would be created, the report found.

“The economic and social rationale for the energy transition in the GCC region has never been stronger,” Amin said.

However, at an event held earlier in the week and hosted by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), Tanzeed Alam, climate and energy director for the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) called on the GCC to show more leadership in carbon reduction targets.

Popular content

“There is a huge issue with the climate change action paradox, and this will have a huge impact in mankind’s ability to survive in the Middle East if action is not taken,” Alam said.

“The countries in the GCC need to develop national climate change policies designed transform economies to low carbon, accelerate economic diversification into renewables, identify peaking dates for carbon emissions in line with international best practice and set up carbon reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and beyond.”

Alam added that the words from the COP21 Paris Agreement will mean nothing if they are not translated into action.

Alex Kamerer of First Solar also spoke of how PV can help the GCC region to meet the rising demand for water in the region in a sustainable way. “Globally, the GCC region accounts for 40% of desalination activity every day,” he said. By installing PV in greater volumes – either to offset the energy used in desalination plants or installing directly onsite to generate the electricity required – the region can bring down its carbon footprint drastically, and cost-effectively.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.