Sep 26, 2011 - States in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are considering a solid increase in renewable energy capacity to at least 27 GW in the coming decade, according to a report by Middle East research service MEED Insight.
The report, Mena Renewable Energy 2012, says that the planned capacity boost is aimed at meeting the growth in demand for energy, reducing the use of oil and gas feedstock in power production and taking advantage of an expected fall in solar and wind generated electricity.
Ten of the 14 Arab states that the report covers have set renewable energy goals ranging from 5% to 42% of the given state's total energy mix by 2020. States that have not set such targets, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, are planning to launch major solar power programmes.
However, the report considers the 2020 targets as "highly ambitious", given the achievements of most of the regional states in the sector. Also, much work is needed on improving the regulatory and institutional framework in parts of the region and on issues such as feed-in tariffs and grid access. At the same time, renewable energy plans have been affected by the civil unrest and regime changes in the region. The planned solar and wind independent power projects (IPPs) are most susceptible as they will need substantial commercial financing, the report adds.
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