(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has asserted that GCC countries could achieve returns from renewable energy integration reaching 200 Billion until 2030 through cutting carbon emissions and increasing fuel reserves.
During a press conference on the sidelines of the 18th UN Climate Change Conference held in Doha, IRENA explained that GCC countries have up to 30 renewable energy projects; some complete, while others under construction or being planned.
These countries are increasingly heading towards the establishment of ambitious projects in all areas of the region which rely on renewable energy, it said, adding that they are supported by the announcement of the target product, innovative research and development, as well as investment in energy production.
The growth of the renewable energy industry in GCC countries, which have been implementing projects for more than 30 years, brings the world closer to taking advantage of renewable energy capabilities as a source of fuel.
IRENA, which is based in Abu Dhabi, pointed out some obstacles preventing renewable energy from becoming a reality in GCC countries, including the lack of legislation regulating sources and wide scale support for fossil fuel despite the availability of resources.
IRENA highlighted the importance of making changes to the structural framework and government support for SMEs.
It is noted that IRENA is mandated by 158 countries and the European Union to promote the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, and to serve as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange. Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first major international organization to be headquartered in the Middle East.
IRENA asserted that GCC countries, which are witnessing rapid economic growth, have become among major energy consumers in the world, as regional consumption increases almost 8% per year.
These countries will need to save 100 GW of surplus energy over the next 10 years to fulfill demand, it said, adding that the consumption of electricity from renewable sources means less reliance on oil and gas and an increase in exportation.
IRENA indicated that the use of renewable energy in GCC countries is a method, also given cost efficiency. Solar energy usage for generating electricity is also suitable for rising demand for electricity due to air conditioning in GCC countries in specific.
The Gulf region, rich in hydrocarbon sources, also has renewable resources because of the strong, consistent solar rays and space for solar energy stations, in addition to other sources like wind, thermal energy, biomass and urban waste.
In the same context, a report distributed by IRENA during the Conference has shown that GCC countries have a series of factories and companies considered of value for renewable energy including Qatar Solar Technologies (QStec). IRENA forecasted that electricity consumption in GCC countries will reach 856 terawatt/hour by 2020, which requires the production of an additional 100 GW.
GCC electricity production during 2010 has reached 456 terawatt/hour, IRENA said, adding that consumption per capita exceeds that of the EU.