Increasing Solar Power Generation in the Middle East

solar power generation.
solar power generation.

The Middle East and North Africa are home to some of the world’s hottest cities. These places record temperatures exceeding 50°C. Sadly, these countries are not solar energy’s world leaders. According to experts, investment in this industry can be hampered by the region’s uncertain economic future and sluggish increase in power consumption.

The Middle East presently has the lowest percentage of clean power in its electrical mix of any region. However, it is rapidly addressing this by vastly enhancing its ability to produce renewable energy.

Recent data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) showed that the Middle East saw the biggest overall percentage rise in renewable energy capacity in 2022.

How to Increase Solar Power Generation in the Middle East

Solar Power Generation in UAE

With a 5 GW capacity, the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai is the biggest renewable energy project and single-site solar park in the world. The completion date project is scheduled for 2030. The project currently has a production capacity of around 900 MW. 

Solar Power in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has set ambitious targets to increase its renewable capacity from 9.5 GW to 27.3 GW through the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), with 20 GW of this energy to be generated from solar sources. 

Solar Power in Oman

Oman recently started investing in solar energy. The country’s first independent solar and largest utility-scale renewable energy project was launched after a one-year construction period. The Ibri 2 solar field boasts a capacity of 500 MW. It employs bifacial panels, contributing to Oman’s goal of having renewables account for 20% of its electricity production by 2030.

Solar Power in Egypt

Egypt has set an objective to derive 42% of its electricity. The electricity will come from renewable sources by 2035. The Ben Ban solar park, inaugurated in 2019, has a total installed capacity of 1650 MW. In 2021, Egypt signed a $700 million contract for 32 solar power projects as part of the Kom Ombo Solar Energy Complex. The country is also exploring the possibility of connecting its power networks to Europe through Greece.

How to Increase Solar Power Generation in the Middle East

Government Incentives

Middle Eastern governments should have incentives to encourage the development of solar power plants. Incentives could be tax benefits, financial assistance, and feed-in tariffs that set a fixed price for solar-generated power.

Utility-Scale Solar Projects

Middle East governments need to invest in solar energy projects that can produce a lot of power at a huge scale. These initiatives are economical and can make a significant difference in the energy mix.

Investment in Research and Development

Encourage research and development in solar technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This can include partnerships with universities and private sector companies.

Net-Metering Programs

Introduce net-metering policies that enable individuals and organizations to resell extra solar-generated power to the grid. This may encourage the use of solar panels.

International Collaboration

Governments can partner with international organizations and countries with expertise in solar energy to learn from best practices and gain access to cutting-edge technologies. The countries can even have joint solar projects.

Diversification of Energy Sources

If the administration is successful in pursuing a diverse energy mix, the Middle East will see an increase in solar energy. The combination will combine energy sources like solar, wind, and other renewable sources.

Public-Private Partnerships

There will be increased solar power generation if Middle Eastern government and private sector companies invest in and develop solar projects jointly.

Incentives for Energy Efficiency

The Middle East has to adopt energy-saving strategies that lower total energy usage and increase solar power in the energy mix.

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by News Editor

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