[co-author: Connor Curran]

The development of alternative energy sources is an integral part of the national strategies of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Clean Energy has made remarkable strides in the GCC over the past five years. From niche technologies with limited application beyond small-scale pilot projects, the pipeline of projects has grown to nearly 7 gigawatts (GW) of new power generating capacity.1 Assuming a house uses 10 000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, one GW is enough to power 100,000 homes.

Location, location, location –

The GCC countries are located in one of the most energy-rich regions in the world. Home to nearly a third of the world’s oil and more than a fifth of the world’s gas reserves – most of which are concentrated between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar – it remains one of the main global centers for the supply of conventional oil and gas.2 However, to meet the demands associated with population and economic growth, there is a notable shift towards alternative energy sources such as as solar, wind and nuclear power.

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