Solar Energy: Prospects and Challenges in the Arab World


The Arabic or region of the Middle East, the world is very rich in oil and natural gas resources that meet 96% of its total energy demand, while renewable energy sources are directed to a meager 4%. This influx of oil reserves is a major challenge for the development of renewable energy resources in the region, but nonetheless constant strenuous efforts are made by governments in the Middle East in the development of renewable energy resources.

Are ongoing efforts to increase production of renewable energy to meet 6% of global demand in 2020 in the region, where consumption is increasing at a rate of 7% years due to economic growth and development and compliance thus shaped demand clean energy is increasingly difficult.

The area also has a good source of solar radiation and wind speed to develop renewable form of energy required by the power plants. Desertec Industrial Initiative in 2013 indicated that in the Arab region, the transition to an energy system based on renewable is economically more viable and more attractive than in most other parts of the world.

The region strives to transform its energy in a shifting sustainable alternative energy sources to fossil fuels abundant Convention observed in the region, under the direction of the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), in partnership with the League of Arab States and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and former includes 22 states in the Middle East.


RCREEE brought his course of action and strategy for sustainable energy policy or the year of 2030 in which the Member States have set their goals since the goal of clean energy by Morocco 40% of installed capacity leading the table followed by Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and so on, each with the objectives of more than 20% clean energy by 2020.

These objectives stated above are general targets for renewable energy and do not include technology-specific objectives, which in turn is inclusive of generating solar and wind energy, including solar energy consists of two solar powered concentrated (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV). These based on the development of renewable energy technologies has become the focus of alternative energy production of the Arab nations.

Every Arab nation as part of this initiative has taken several steps, such as creating specialized authorities or departments in its Department of Energy for the care of renewable energy technology (RET) and formulate policies that encourage investment in the private sector renewable energy production. Investments are also encouraged by public funds.

He said that renewable energy is not without challenges. There are many measures that hinder the achievement of these objectives could be addressed through a joint effort of different nations and international aid. The combined Arab countries are currently building renewable energy plants with a capacity of 6.4 GW, excluding hydropower, which is a large-scale production, the main contributors being wind and solar plants totaling 4.5 GW and 1.8 GW, respectively.

That said, these objectives are not without problems as all institutional levels of individual Member States differ in structure and function and its relationship with others is very important to the overall objectives of the region.

The follow some challenges that must be addressed in achieving the objectives of renewable energy.


Political will: as with any other plan, the political will is the fulcrum of these objectives with specific policies and agile management structure that can effectively monitor functions. Fundraising would be another obstacle to crude oil prices being irregular, which is the main source of income in the region, the savings must be balanced to find an alternative to what is the main source of livelihood.

The lack of objective and strategy: Many countries do not have a strategy that sets clear targets is done and is heavy woven into binding legal documents and therefore the first step towards clean energy transformation is hit. A legal framework that defines the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and regulatory policies is another need that poses a challenge.

Legal Framework: From now on only six of the 22 countries are Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia has a clear legal framework and remain available to form. The absence of a legal framework denies investor confidence by reducing the possibilities of producing renewable energy supply.

Attendance Policy: Another challenge is the lack of political support in terms of a power purchase agreement, which is now a long process and does not allow large-scale production of renewable energy.

In other words, the lack of clarity about the number of projects planned by public competition reduces investor confidence and therefore uncertainty is widespread condition. In addition, electricity prices in most countries are subsidized to make the investment in the production of renewable energy less attractive.

Financial challenges: The challenges are not only the absence of a clear legal and administrative framework, but also financial. Renewable energy requires a substantial initial investment, so the worst case for countries where fuel costs are low. Therefore an investor expectations for a better premium can be corroborated by government action to ensure safe investment platform.

Other challenges: more technical knowledge in these countries are not as competent to world standards and quality assurance systems. The engineering of renewable energy to RETstandardization are less well placed.

Some countries were selected in which renewable energy resource development institutions dedicated believe after a SWOT analysis, which are monitored by their function and horizontal coordination with other actors in raising awareness on renewable energy outside their premises. As a result the common prices for different countries have been prepared on the basis of the class to which the challenge, as administrative, financial, etc.

There are many factors that determine success depends on achieving those objectives, but from now on, you may feel strongly that there is sufficient political will for a better cause.