The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has big plans for renewables. It aims to add a total of 73.4GW to the 12GW of utility-scale solar and wind power already in operation, with 60.9GW coming online before 2030, reports non-profit Global Energy Monitor.
Over the next eight years, wind capacity is set to grow from 4.7GW to 11.3GW and solar is set to grow from 7.4GW to a whopping 49.5GW of utility-scale installations. If executed, those plans will fulfill 91% of the Arab’s League 2030 renewable energy targets.
With an installed capacity of 1.6GW of wind and 1.9GW of solar, Egypt is MENA’s current renewable energy leader. The United Arab Emirates is second, with an installed capacity of 2.6GW of utility-scale solar, followed by Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
However, the region’s current renewable leaders are not likely to retain their top positions for long. Other countries have greater ambitions despite them currently not even being in the top five. These include Oman, Algeria and Kuwait.
MENA's renewable energy leaders are set to look very different in eight years, with Oman, Morocco and Algeria each having total renewable installations of more than 10GW.
Individually, the 114 planned solar and 45 planned wind projects are also large. The average planned solar project in the region is almost four times larger than the global average. A case in point is a project in Oman with a total capacity of 12.5GW, scheduled for completion in 2038. The average wind project is also more than one-and-a-half times larger than the global average.
If executed, MENA's renewables plans will have a major impact on the region's energy transition – the planned wind and solar capacity in Algeria, Morocco and Oman alone is four times the prospective gas-fired capacity foreseen in these countries.