Originally posted on Gigaom:
It’s got a dry, sunny climate, an addiction to fossil fuels, and it’s set to become a hot spot for renewable energy development, especially solar. That would be the Middle East, where countries such as Saudi Arabia subsidize electricity generation by using their own oil and where natural gas is the main source of power for the United Arab Emirates.
The Middle East has generated a lot of media attention in recent weeks when it comes to clean power, particularly since the Saudi government announced a plan to install 41 GW of solar systems by 2032. The country also wants to add wind, geothermal, nuclear and other sources into its mix. Saudi Arabia relies heavily on its own oil and gas for power generation. But with a rising domestic demand for power, the government doesn’t want to use fossil fuels from its wells when it could sell them at far higher prices to the rest of the world.
“If Saudi Arabia continues with its business-as-usual scenario, they will have no more oil to export to the world by 2030,” said Shihab Kuran, founder and CEO of Petra Solar in New Jersey.