From: Maurice Picow, Green Prophet
Published December 28, 2009 06:47 AM

Middle East/Med Region Could Solar Power World

Middle Eastern and North African countries, often referred to under the umbrella term MENA countries, have the potential to create more than 3 times the world's power needs, according to a new study reported in the Dubai-based Khaleej Times.

Countries that move fast, the study suggests, could have the competitive advantage. Who could take the lead: MENA countries, especially ones located on the Arabian Peninsula, as well as others like Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel could be. These countries are no strangers to the notion of solar energy, and Green Prophet has covered countless articles touting solar energy in the Middle East.


One of the region's leading solar energy development countries, Israel, has even been asked by the UN to increase its development of solar energy. Despite being an instrumental innovator through companies such as BrightSource or Solel, Israel's own use of solar power at home more closely resembles that of a developing nation.

The Khaleej Times article pointed out that countries in the MENA region have the "greatest potential for solar regeneration" supplying 45% of the world's energy sources possible through renewable energy. Renewable energy sources of interest in this region include Abu Dhabi's Masdar City as well as its hosting of the World Renewable Energy Agency headquarters . Known as IRENA, this center could fuel development in the whole region.

A big problem, however, is under-funding of renewable energy projects, due to a big abundance of oil and other fossil fuels, says Beirut based Ibrahim El Hussenei, a partner in the London based energy project development company, Booz & Company whose representatives were present at the COP 15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

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