There’s no getting away from the fact that the Middle East is sunny – as such, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that solar power is the way to go. Countries such as Egypt and Lebanon as well more oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are already building up their solar power resources. Even so, overall progress is patchy and with some nations such as Jordan embracing nuclear and Israel still considering oil shale it seems the message hasn’t quite reached all ears.
This week’s announcement by energy experts during a World Economic Forum event that regional governments need to shift to clean, renewable energy resources should, however, go some way to rectifying the situation.
Solar As The Most Important Source of Future Energy
Speaking in Jordan, energy experts urged Arab nations to move away from oil dependence and explore the high potential of solar energy as the Middle East has the most sunny daylight hours of any region in the world. “Solar energy is efficient and abundant in the Arab world. Studies indicate that solar energy in the Middle East is twice the amount that could be collected in the US,” Mohammad Barmawi, chairman of the Oman-based MB Holding Company, told the Jordan Times.
Barmawi also called for greater regional co-operation which could include a common electric grid among the North African countries as well as investment in clean and renewable energy sources. The “Future of energy governance” event was held on Sunday as part of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World.
Link Between Energy, Water & Food
Rabi Mohtar, executive director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, also highlighted the link between water and energy efficiency (and subsequently food security). He called on Arab governments to insists that new energy companies keep their water consumption in check to preserve as much water as possible.
Although there are predictions that oil will remain the key source of energy in the Arab world until the year 2025, the experts urged Arab nations to start seriously exploring green, clean and sustainable alternatives now.
: Image via Jasondbay/flickr.
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