MENA to add 50GW of utility-scale solar by 2030

Seetao 2022-06-30 11:44
  • The region has also announced several large-scale green hydrogen projects, many of which are aimed at exporting green hydrogen
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The MENA country plans to add 49.5GW of installed utility-scale solar capacity by 2030. With more than 30GW of development or construction projects announced between Oman, Morocco and Kuwait, these jurisdictions will lead the region in utility-scale solar PV this decade. All announced solar and wind projects will add more than five times the current renewable energy capacity in the MENA region, with utility-scale solar capacity currently standing at 7.4GW. In addition, Oman also plans to build a 12.5GW solar photovoltaic project, which will be operational by 2038.

The countries currently installing the most utility-scale solar and wind are Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, the latter of which will be the only country to remain at the forefront of renewable energy. Including wind projects, the region plans to add 73GW of utility-scale renewable energy capacity this decade, covering 91% of the Arab League's 80GW renewable energy target by 2030, according to GEM.

Middle East accelerates energy transition

Many of these countries will switch from fossil energy projects to renewable energy this decade. Morocco will roll out six times as much renewable energy as natural gas investments over the next five years, and Oman has less than 400 megawatts of fossil energy projects in pipelines and nearly 20 percent of its renewables will be operational within the next two years. Nine of the 16 countries with a pipeline of utility-scale solar projects have less than 60 MW of cumulative solar PV capacity by 2030, many of which will add their first solar PV plants, as shown in the chart below. Only three countries, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, currently have more than 1GW of operational capacity.

In addition, the average size of utility-scale solar projects in the MENA region is four times larger than in the rest of the world, according to GEM, for two reasons. First, the high demand for energy storage in the region is what it is designed to exploit, and second, the possibility of becoming a transcontinental exporter of renewable energy. Morocco, one of the countries focusing on power generation exports, aims to add more than 14GW of solar PV and 1.3GW of wind by 2027. Keywords: engineering news, overseas news

Kasandra O'Malia, project manager at GEM Global Solar Power Tracker, said that the Middle East and North Africa has always had huge potential for wind and solar development, but to see these countries eschew fossil gas and switch to renewable energy, the scale is staggering.Editor/XingWentao