The world is undergoing a fast-moving global energy transition which is redefining the way we produce, distribute and consume energy today. Renewables are at the heart of this transition, powering the future with sustainable, affordable and reliable energy sources. Accelerated renewables deployment is driven by its strong business case, underpinned by cost reductions, innovations, and enabling frameworks. Analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that by 2020, renewables will be the cheapest choice for power generation in many parts of the world. Furthermore, the urgency to tackle climate change is adding impetus to the uptake of renewables. As a result, countries across the world are raising their level of ambition to develop their renewable energy resources.
The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are increasingly part of this global momentum as they seek to meet their growing energy demand and diversify their economies. Traditionally known for their oil and gas reserves, the Gulf countries have considerable renewable energy potential, namely solar, as they lie in the so-called Global Sunbelt with some of the highest solar irradiances in the world. IRENA’s report, Regional Energy Market Analysis: for the GCC for 2019, launched last January, analyses the progress made in the establishment of enabling policy, regulatory and investment frameworks in these countries and offers an outlook for renewables deployment in the region.