Saudi, UAE Lead GCC Switch to Renewable Energy Sources

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are leading regional efforts to become more environmentally friendly and go green. According to a new report by an analytics firm, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are making big efforts to invest in renewable energy projects to reach their climate goals. 

S&P Global Ratings said in their report that as of the end of 2021, around 90 percent of the GCC’s renewable energy capacity came from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia aims to generate some 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, as part of the Saudi Green Initiative. 

The UAE in 2022 increased its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 31 percent by 2030.

In a bid to reach these targets, the countries have launched a number of initiatives. 

Saudi Arabia in 2022 announced plans to develop one of the largest Carbon Capture, Usage, and Storage (CCUS) hubs in the world that aims to collect 44 million tons of CO2e.

Saudi Arabia is also in the midst of building the futuristic city NEOM. 

The Kingdom also launched a regreening initiative to plant 100 million native trees, shrubs, and grasses by 2030 as part of its plans for NEOM. 

Dumat al-Jandal, Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm, is the largest wind farm in operation in the Middle East.

Solar power is also a big focus. As of 2021, 90 percent of installed renewable energy capacity in the GCC came from solar power facilities. 

Last month Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman announced that the country would invest $266 billion to generate “cleaner energy” and add transport lines and distribution networks. 

Saudi Arabia is also investing in tech solutions to help shape the clean energy solution. At a recent conference in Saudi, LEAP23, climate scientists met with industry leaders over a four-day annual tech convention to explore how technology can help mitigate the effects of climate change. 

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