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GCC Countries' Renewable Energy Penetration and the Progress of Their Energy Sector Projects

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>IEEE Access
Volume8
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)211986-212002
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/11/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are reliant on fossil fuels to generate electricity. Fossil fuels also represent the main source of economic income in the region. Climate change is closely associated with the use of fossil fuels, and it has become the main motivation driving the GCC countries to search for alternative solutions, such as renewable energy technologies, to eliminate their reliance on fossil fuels and the climate burden attached. The GCC countries have all adopted plans for economic development and diversication to be implemented over two decades. Such plans are strengthened by a framework for long-term planning, which includes a strategic commitment to pursue the development process in a sustainable manner. This research provides a comprehensive review and strict follow-up to shed light on the renewable energy projects implemented in the GCC region and critically discusses future prospects. The projects foreshadow the GCC countries' ability to comply with the future requirements and to spearhead the renewable energy transition towards a more sustainable and equitable future. The main findings of this research reveal that the GCC countries have achieved significant progress in the field of renewable energy deployment. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are at the top of the list for global renewable energy projects, while Kuwait and Oman have also announced the progress of their projects and have honored their pledges. We find that Bahrain and Qatar need to exercise more transparency in regard to disclosing information about the developments of their renewable energy projects. Finally, although several promising renewable energy projects are underway or have been announced in the region, their completion should be accelerated, and more projects must be implemented to fully meet the decarbonization targets and climate constraints.