UAE green energy investments alone are expected to tally up to $2.74 trillion by 2020, which comes as Mena countries discover the potential for renewable energy, according to figures from the UAE International Chamber of Commerce, though opinions differ on the efficacy of such developments.
The green energy boom has peppered the media with a string of announcements and claims of sustainable solutions for a largely oil rich region, with oil and non-oil-based economies making moves to deploy renewable energy into their power mix.
Matthew Taiwo of Carter Croft, a renewable energy consultancy, said -about the rapid expansion of the Middle East renewable energy sector in recent years-:
“From the ground up, companies have been hiring key members of the renewable energy industry to head up projects, especially in the Solar and Wind energy sectors. I have read a lot about a ‘mirage of spending’ in the Middle East but the reality is that the money really is being spent, hence the physical presence of some of the leading businesses and individuals from within the renewable industry.”
What some Middle East nations do have in abundance is capital, but spending alone is not a sure-fire guarantee of success. Taiwo points to talent, among other issues, as a holdback for new regional projects.
A second resource, aside from wealth, is the vast expanse of land to develop large-scale renewable projects, in comparison with more crowded Western countries.