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USD155bn Solar Energy Projects Planned in GCC

Middle East : 08 July

Source: Gulf News 2013

Dubai: The GCC region is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s major green energy producers, with solar energy likely to account for a large share of its power generation by 2017.

Organisers of GulfSol 2013, an event dedicated to the solar energy industry, on Wednesday said the Gulf countries have already put in the pipeline some $155 billion (Dh570.09 billion) worth of solar power installation projects.

With hydrocarbon reserves starting to get depleted, and as oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) continue their uptrend, governments have been exploring alternative sources of power. Analysts have said that solar energy is a rich resource in the region and can be cost-effective to use.

As of June last year, the prices of oil in the region were near $100 per barrel and LNG prices increased to $18 per MMBTU (million metric British thermal units), and have been under pressure due to demand from Japan, following the closure of nuclear power plants in the country, according to a market intelligence report posted by GulfSol.

“Direct radiation exceeding 6 kilowatt hours per square metre per day in many regions [in the Middle East and North Africa] makes for awesome solar potential. Recent decreases in the price of solar technologies coupled with rising electricity demand in these growing nations, if coupled with the right policies, could make the region a hub for solar expansion,” the 2013 report said.

Dubai has made public its plans to build a $3.2 billion facility called Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the biggest project announced to date in the region. When completed by 2030, the proposed park, which is currently under construction and will span 48 square kilometres, will have a solar capacity of 1 gigawatt.

Another major project, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, which already houses a 10-megawatt photovoltaic plant and a pilot solar thermal plant, is envisioned to get its electricity needs entirely from renewable energy. The planned city is expected to be the future home of 45,000 to 50,000 residents and 1,500 companies.

Abu Dhabi seeks to generate 7 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Masdar has announced its plan to invest up to Dh6 billion in alternative energy schemes alongside the UK’s Green Investment Bank.

Saudi Arabia also intends to double its electricity capacity by installing 54-gigawatt renewable energy by 2032. Of the planned capacity, 41GW will be sourced from solar energy. Qatar and Kuwait have also set their eyes on renewable energy sources.

Solar energy will be the main topic of discussion among industry leaders in the region at the GulfSol 2013 summit in Dubai from September 3 to 5 this year. At the event, government and private sector companies will talk about effective deployment of solar projects and showcase some of the latest international technologies.

“To meet the goals that the GCC have set themselves means expertise will be needed from the international solar power industry to deal with the difficulties involved in construction in desert terrain, including dust, high winds and transmission requirements,” said Derek Burston, exhibition manager of GulfSol 2013.

08 July

Saudi Oil Exports Hit 1.27bn Barrels in Six Months

Source: Arab News
Saudi Arabia exported nearly 1.27 billion barrels of oil in the first six months of the current year that yielded SR 514 billion, an economic expert was quoted by the local media.
Local consumption stood at 419 million barrels, or 25 percent of the total production, during the same period, Fahad bin Jumaa told [...]

28 June

Non Oil Exports Hit Surpass SR 48 Billion in Saudi as Qatar Reports 5 Percent Growth in GDP and UAE Receives $9.6 Billion In Capital

Saudi Arabian Non Oil Exports Surpass SAR 46 Billion
The total value of non-oil exports in Saudi Arabia dropped by 2.1 percent, from last year’s value of SR 47.84bn to SR 46.84bn, according to the CDSI (or Central Department of Statistics and Information).
Petrochemicals lead the list at SR 16.88 billion in value, accounting for 36.05 percent [...]

28 June

GCC Corporate Banking Profits ‘at Peak Levels’ – BCG

Source: Arabian Business
Corporate banking divisions at GCC-based banks are at peak levels in terms of revenues and net profits, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The report said that banking performance in the Gulf has even crossed the pre-crisis levels seen in 2008.
“This impressive performance is even more apparent when compared [...]

28 June

Bahrain’s State Spending to Jump 11% in 2013

Source: Reuters
Bahrain’s state spending is expected to jump 11 percent this year, by more than originally planned, after its parliament approved BD174.2m ($462m) in additional expenditure, official data showed.
Budget expenditure in the small non-OPEC oil exporter is now expected to total BD3.62bn in 2013, up from BD3.26bn actually spent last year, according to a breakdown [...]

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