JEDDAH – Spurred by a buoyant economy and population growth, over $300 billion will be invested in the GCC water and desalination projects, between 2012 – 2022 periods, researchandmarkets.com reported Friday.
Subsequent to its revolutionary discovery of hydrocarbons about three decades back, the GCC economies have come a long way into establishing themselves as a fast developing region boasting modern amenities and facilitating high standards of living.
It said the GCC have increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and are opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement.
While privatization occupies centre stage in the overhauling process of the power and water sector, the initiatives toward alternative energy sources in the form of solar and nuclear power, as alternatives to the heavy dependence on the hydrocarbons sector, particularly to replace natural gas as a primary fuel in power generation, has been considered a highlight of the regional power reforms
The emergence of alternative power sources will enable GCC nations to successfully diversify their economic growth from a predominantly oil based economy thus bracing themselves against future adversities arising from oil fluctuations, the report noted. Renewable energies are about to capture a considerable segment of the global energy mix. This segment is only likely to grow given rising demand for energy, supply worries with regard to fossil fuels and environmental concerns. In particular solar energy offer huge potential for the GCC countries.
Rising domestic energy needs for power generation and desalination, favorable conditions for solar energy production and interest in acquiring technological know-how make a perfect argument for renewable energy in the Gulf.
All six nations of the GCC have either embarked upon or committed to investments in solar projects, with projects split between solar photovoltaic and solar thermal applications.
The GCC region also has considerable wind resources, even though these vary widely across the countries and wind installations are at a less developed stage than their solar counterparts.