Renewable energy ambitions face new challenges


One sector that shows no sign of disappearing in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region is renewables.

While the supply chain for projects has been disrupted, and the commercial model for privately finance power plants has been upset, the region remains committed to diversifying is energy sources and lowering its costs through renewables, says data and analytics company GlobalData.

Richard Thompson, Editorial Director at GlobalData, commented, “With around 28GW of renewable energy production capacity installed across the MENA region, of which by far the biggest component is hydropower with 21GW, renewable energy represents only 7% of the region’s power generation capacity. But with electricity demand rising at about 5% a year, and with a shortage of readily available natural gas supplies, expanding renewables capacity is now one of the top policy priorities for governments in the region.” 

Boosted by falling technology costs and the drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, most countries are planning and procuring solar and wind projects. Across the region, governments have set ambitious clean energy targets, with Dubai the most aggressive, aiming for 75% of its energy to come from clean sources by 2050. At the start of 2020, about 98GW of new renewable energy generation capacity was planned across the region, with 39GW of additional capacity due to come on stream by 2025.

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