Middle East's shift towards renewable energy sources

28 July 2021 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read
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The development of alternative energy sources is an integral element of the national strategies of Middle East countries. Connor Curran and David Murphy from FTI Consulting share some of the key policies and projects put in place by the governments of Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to drive the shift towards renewable energy.


Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 is a comprehensive plan focusing on shaping the vision of the government, society, and economy, based around three guiding principles: sustainability, fairness, and competitiveness. An important goal is linked to affordable clean energy with a national renewable energy target of 5% by 2025 and 10% by 2035.

Currently, Bahrain is pushing ahead with several solar power initiatives, the largest being the 2 million square metre plant in Askar.

How are Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE stimulating renewable energy?


The Sultanate of Oman has a Vision 2040 of which one of the objectives from its national energy strategy is to derive 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Oman is currently proceeding with a mixture of wind and solar projects in Duqm, Manah and Dhofar with planned completion dates ranging from 2021 to 2024.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Arab Peninsula, has stated its commitment to becoming carbon neutral; its goal is to derive 50% of its electricity from renewables and nuclear by 2030. Under its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to become a leading diversified economy and an example for sustainable development. 

The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) is a strategic initiative under Vision 2030 that aims to maximise the potential of renewable energy in the Kingdom. The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) within the Ministry of Energy was established to deliver the goals of the NREP. 

An example of this commitment is ‘The Line’, a $100+ billion megaproject located in NEOM, North-Western Saudi Arabia. The Line is a 170km-long linear urban development of multiple, hyper-connected communities and will be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Further, the first phase of Dumat Al Jandal, the Kingdom’s first wind project with 99 turbines located in the Al Jouf region, is 50% complete with full completion expected in 2022, powering up to 70,000 homes. 

United Arab Emirates

In 2017, the UAE launched its ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ which aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50%. The Energy Strategy combines renewable, nuclear and clean energy sources to meet the UAE’s economic requirements and environmental goals. The UAE plans to invest AED 600 billion by 2050 to meet its growing energy demand.

The UAE is the second GCC state that has incorporated nuclear energy as part of its future energy policy. Located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Barakah nuclear power plant, comprising of four APR1400 units, is the first nuclear power station in the UAE. Unit 1 of the Barakah plant is now operational and is the largest single generator of electricity in the UAE. When all four units are completed, it is estimated that they will produce 25% of the UAE’s electricity. 

Progress is also continuing on the Al Dhafra solar power plant which will be the world’s largest single-site solar plant, using approximately 4 million solar panels to generate electricity for approximately 160,000 homes.