Article: Renewable Energy Revolution

Article: Renewable Energy Revolution

Renewable energy has found a receptive audience in an unexpected place. In recent years, the Middle East has been investing heavily in solar power and other renewable energy technologies. Electricity generation from renewables doubled in the region between 2010 and 2020 to 40GW and it is anticipated to double again by 2024. Given that the Middle East is home to some of the world’s largest petrochemical reserves and are the leading oil exporters, this news may be unexpected to those outside the region. However, there are several drivers motivating this trend. The volatility of oil prices has made fossil fuels a risky investment, and renewable technologies are increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels. Additionally, the Middle East receives ample sunlight and is home to vast, relatively unpopulated desert landscapes optimal for solar-energy harvesting. These solar farms are less expensive to set up and maintain than traditional petrochemical plants—and they are also much cleaner.