Middle East and North Africa region has successfully made progression in renewable sector with 50 percent surge in its renewable energy capacity since 2022. This was disclosed by a report released by the Global Energy Monitor. Further it is reported that the region is anticipated to witness another 50 percent increase by 2024.
In terms of economic dependence, the report reveals that Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia derive over a quarter of their GDP from oil and gas extraction. The report further says that since many of these nations have not embraced renewable energy to the same extent as their less oil-rich counterparts in the region, such as Morocco and Egypt, the report speculates that if the world shifts away from fossil fuels, these countries could face significant economic challenges.
The report has stressed on the requirement of a capacity twenty times greater than this to replace the current gas-based power generation in the region. These countries in the region are poised to reap substantial benefits from their endeavors to transition to renewable energy. The report says that there are indicators suggesting that this transition could be imminent. Since May 2022, these nations have increased their operational capabilities in solar and wind energy by 6.9 gigawatts, marking a 57 percent increase. Besides, with 9 gigawatts of renewable energy currently under construction and scheduled for completion by the end of 2024, the growth rate continues to rise.
However, Oman is setting an example for other nations in the region by transforming its economy. Libya, too, appears to be exploring diversification by considering renewable energy exports to Europe, although their 25 GW project is still in its early stages.
The report assesses the UAE, Oman, and Morocco as potential leaders in renewable energy within the Middle East and North Africa region based on various metrics. These metrics include the number of commissioned large-scale solar and wind projects, potential project capacities which includes projects that have been announced, under construction, or in some stage of development and the establishment of ambitious renewable energy targets. Egypt and Jordan, alongside these countries, have demonstrated their commitment to developing renewable energy infrastructure, given the anticipated abundance of solar and wind energy in the region’s future (361 GW).