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Kuwait transformation towards clean energy lowest among GCC

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Countries vary in how they deploy solar and wind capabilities, other climate-related activities

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Although Kuwait was one of the countries that initiated the production of solar energy in the seventies and eighties of the last century, and although it is logical to seek to replace solar or wind energy instead of imports of liquefied natural gas, Kuwait’s transformation towards clean energy remains the lowest in the Gulf, reports Al-Anba daily. Al-Anba quoting sources from the Middle East Institute (MEI) said a closer look at what these countries are doing reveals vast differences in how they deploy solar and wind capabilities, as well as space constraints, decarbonization considerations, and other climate-related activities.

Kuwait’s plans in this context are summarized in generating 15% of its total energy mix through clean energy by 2030, compared to 50%, 40% and 20% for Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar, respectively, and 15% for Bahrain by 2035. The national oil companies and their subsidiaries in the Gulf countries play an important role in estimating the capacity of renewable energy. In Kuwait, for example, we find that the tender put forward by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company in 2018 to build a complex for generating energy from sun and wind with a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity used by the oil industry in the country was abolished in 2020 due to bureaucracy. The daily added, an analysis issued by the Middle East Institute stated that the Gulf Cooperation Council states seem to be applying a common model in their path of transition towards renewable energy in line with global efforts in this field, as each of them have announced their respective goals and the share of future renewable energy in its energy mix, in addition to decarbonization from oil and gas operations to production and refining.

The Petroleum Development Company in the Sultanate of Oman is working to generate more than 1.2 GW of solar and wind energy. In Bahrain, Bapco and Tatweer only control nearly all of the country’s solar and wind capacity. Since the Gulf countries have one of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, and to a lesser degree from wind resources, Kuwait has lagged behind in this process from the rest of the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, while the UAE has assumed the role of a regional leader to a large extent in terms of the ability to install energy renewable projects..

However, renewable energy projects in the UAE will grow more slowly than in Saudi Arabia. For example, according to an estimate from the Arab Petroleum Investments Company, renewable energy will represent 22% of the value of all energy projects in Saudi Arabia between 2021 and 2025 compared to 8% in the UAE, reports Al-Anba daily. The Institute considered these different pathways of renewable energy generation capacity in the Gulf as a result of differences in the initial and intermediate conditions, including the energy mix, original energy sources, the state’s capacity and ambitions, and the state’s trade relations. The institute concluded by saying that companies and government-linked institutions are leading the economic development in the Gulf countries, however, it has mobilized and mobilized concerted efforts to achieve economic diversification, a wide scope for the original private companies in the renewable energy sector, and this was demonstrated, for example, in Saudi Arabia, where the sector companies play a bigger role.

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