Abu Dhabi: Investment in renewable energy could help countries throughout the Arab world revive their economies and attract investors, experts have said.
Nimer Abu Ali, Mena Head of Cleantech at Ernst & Young, a global professional services organisation, told Gulf News that even for countries that are not energy exporters are now able to attract investors to renewable energy, create more jobs within their country and revive their economies.
“The outlook is very very positive,” he said. “Jordan for example is the first country to announce the feed-in-tarrif system, where the government can purchase the electricity or the power from the individuals or the private sector. That is extremely important and it’s a good sign for the private sector that there is some progress in the pipeline,” he said.
Some of the bigger initiatives going on in the region are Masdar, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) and most recently Dubai’s solar sustainable city,
“The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy have announced ambitious plans of $109 billion [Dh400 billion] for wind and solar energies and this is huge,” he said. “Saudi plans are focusing on the local content which means increasing the local manufacturing and local percentage out of the total added value, so this will create new jobs for Saudis and contribute to their GDP and that is extremely important and that’s why the major players from India and Europe are coming to the region and attending events such as the World Future Energy Summit,” he added.
One example of companies that have come to the region for business is CESI Middle East, an independent Italian certification and power consultancy firm which opened an office in Dubai about a year ago.
Dr Floris Schulze, Managing Director of CESI Middle East, said that the company is looking at opening offices throughout the Middle East because the region is providing good business for them.
“The potential is huge in the Middle East,” Schluze said. “In principle the GCC is able to establish a powerhouse based on renewable energy,” he said. In a year’s time, the company’s been able to get three major projects and four smaller ones in the region, predominantly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.