Solar power to be main energy source by 2017

Updated 04 July 2013
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Solar power to be main energy source by 2017

Gulf countries are increasingly turning their focus toward clean renewable sources of energy for their power generation, with solar energy set to emerge as one of the region’s main sources of energy by 2017. Already solar power installation projects worth approximately $ 155 billion are in the pipeline with capabilities to generate more than 84 GW of power.
The Gulf countries will be addressing some of the main challenges related to the deployment of energy projects in desert terrain at a high-level industry summit in Dubai later this year.
The summit, called GulfSol 2013, will make its debut at Dubai International Exhibition Center from Sept. 3-5, and will feature government and private sector companies discussing ways of effective deployment of solar projects while also showcasing some of the latest international technologies.
Top agenda at the summit includes discussions on feasibility of solar power projects in remote areas, the wide range of unrealized opportunities in the region for international companies and enforceable regulatory and policy frameworks for implementation of solar projects.
The event is expected to be attended by more than 5,000 participants from the region and around the world and will be accompanied by interactive workshops by industry leaders.
The event assumes added significance given that Abu Dhabi has set a goal of generating 7 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and the state-owned renewable energy company, Masdar, has announced that it will invest up to AED 6 billion in alternative energy schemes alongside the UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB).
“It is apparent that while the solar industry in other areas is struggling, right across MENA, the opportunities are there for companies to get themselves involved with a wealth of opportunities that are presenting themselves. Right now, nothing is hotter for solar than the Middle East,” said Derek Burston, exhibition manager of GulfSol 2013.
“To meet the goals that the GCC have set themselves means expertise will be needed from the international solar power industry to deal with the difficulties involved in construction in desert terrain, including dust, high winds and transmission requirements,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is even more ambitious.
The Saudi government hopes to just about double its installed electricity capacity by building 54 GW of renewable energy (as well as 17.6 GW of nuclear power) by 2032, of which 41 GW will obtained from the sun.
Qatar is also turning to renewables, with a plan on the table to get 10 percent of the electricity and energy used in water desalination from solar energy by 2018.
Kuwait too has ambitions to derive 10 percent of its power requirements from renewable energy sources by 2020.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019
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Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.