Global Energy Monitor
  • Ingrid Behrsin, Kasandra OʼMalia, Shradhey Prasad, Amanda Hinh, and Nagwa Abdallah

Countries in Arabic-speaking Middle East and North Africa plan over 73 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale solar and wind power projects, a more than five-fold increase in current capacity that together with operating projects will account for 91% of the Arab’s League 2030 renewable energy targets, finds a new briefing from Global Energy Monitor. 

This race to the top of renewables capacity is demonstrating a marked shift away from fossil fuel power in some countries. The 39.7 GW of prospective solar and wind energy projects pursued by the top three countries in the region – Oman, Morocco, and Algeria – is nearly four times their prospective new gas-fired capacity.

Oman has 15.3 GW of prospective utility-scale solar projects announced, in development, or in construction, compared to only 0.3 GW of prospective gas-powered and 0.04 GW of prospective oil-powered electricity. Morocco plans to roll out 14.4 GW of utility-scale solar and wind projects in the next five years, six times the capacity of its prospective gas projects. 

The region’s top five countries in terms of prospective utility-scale solar and wind capacity additions are:

  1. Oman (15.3 GW)
  2. Morocco (14.4 GW)
  3. Algeria (10.0 GW)
  4. Kuwait (9.6 GW)
  5. Iraq (5.8 GW)

The top five countries in terms of current operating utility-scale solar and wind are:

  1. Egypt (3.5 GW)
  2. United Arab Emirates (2.6 GW)
  3. Morocco (1.9 GW)
  4. Jordan (1.7 GW)
  5. Saudi Arabia (0.78 GW)

The 114 prospective solar projects and the 45 prospective wind projects are also markedly large: the average size of prospective solar farm phases in the region is nearly four times that of the rest of the world, and the average wind phase farm size is more than one and a half times that of the rest of the world. 

Ingrid Behrsin

At the epicenter of the oil economy, a renewables boom is taking shape. This transformation should send a strong signal to the rest of the world that even oil and gas-producing countries are embracing renewables.

Ingrid Behrsin, Project Manager, Global Wind Power Tracker

The Middle East and North Africa have always had tremendous potential for wind and solar development, but to see these countries shunning fossil gas in favor of renewables and at this scale is stunning.

Kasandra O’Malia, Project Manager for the Global Solar Power Tracker
Kasandra O'Malia

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