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Kuwait aims to generate 15% of power from clean energy

GCC nations are beefing up solar energy capabilities amid global climate change concern

Bahrain wants to reduce reliance on oil for power generation.
Bahrain wants to reduce reliance on oil for power generation.

Kuwait wants just under a sixth of its power demand to be met by renewable energy by 2030.

The Ministry of Electricity and Water has said that the country is determined to produce 15% of Kuwait’s power demand from renewable energy sources, particularly solar, in 12 years.

''Mounting power demand in Kuwait should prompt all stakeholders to come up with practical solutions to minimise dependence on oil to produce energy,'' said Mohammad Al-Sharhan, the ministry's assistant undersecretary for technical services, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency.

READ: Kuwait expects alternative energy plans to complete before 2030

Bulking up renewable energy’s contribution to the power mix by 2030 has already started. Last month, a solar energy deal was struck by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KSIR) and two South Korean companies - KEPCO E&C and SAM UN.

The deal, signed on 28 March, will see KSIR and the two South Korean firms share scientific research on clean energy.

Kuwait is exploring solar and wind power as the two main forms of renewable energy, as it looks to build a cost effective, efficient and sustainable clean energy industry to meet the country’s soaring demand for oil.

Kuwait is one of the world’s leading oil producers, but around a fifth of the country’s oil production is used to meet domestic energy consumption, according to independent rating agency Capital Standards.

This big dependency on oil has promoted the country to explore other sources to generate electricity for its population, which, like other GCC countries, continues to grow.

Kuwait is also not the only GCC country that is exploring new forms of energy, especially solar power.

On 29 March, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund signed an agreement with Japan’s Softbank to develop the world’s largest solar power park, which is reportedly set to as much as $200bn (SAR7.5bn), according to Bloomberg.

Last month, ground was broken on the $3.8bn (AED14.2bn) Phase 4 of Dubai's MBR Solar Park, the world's largest concentrated solar power project. It will generate 1,000MW of electricity by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.

Bahrain's Ministry of Electricity and Water Affairs recently signed an agreement to provide more solar panels to mosques and other religious buildings.

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Construction Week - Issue 746
Jul 20, 2019