For obvious reasons, most Westerners don’t view the Middle East as a very green place. Why would oil-producing companies have any interest in de-valuing their most precious resource, right? Turns out, though, that a small yet significant move towards alternative energy is beginning in the region. While it might not become a world industry leader any time soon, the Middle East is playing its part.
Of the region’s renewable resources, solar is clearly its most abundant. As stated in a Forbes article from this past August, “Saudi Arabia [is] the Saudi Arabia of solar”. And it’s not just Saudi Arabia – a company called Solar Technologies FZE is building a thin-film solar factory in Dubai. According to the company’s website, “Solar Technologies FZE seeks to pave way for a true Green Society”. Visionary words indeed. And Masdar, a cleantech initiative which has plans for a UAE eco-city, is building a $250 million thin-film solar factory of its own.
It seems, though, that some have their eye on wind as well. An Egyptian company, El-Sewedy Cables, has recently started a wind power subsidiary while investing heavily into a Spanish wind turbine manufacturing company. A government official from Pakistan also mentioned that his nation planned on producing a gigawatt of wind power in the coming years.
Some point to recent talks about a possible Iran-Russia-Qatar natural gas cartel as one motive for investments such as these. That may be part of the reason. But if I was an oil exporting country, I would be worried about the future. Oil fields won’t last forever, and neither will oil wealth. But if Middle East governments pour that wealth into something renewable, they could stretch it out over many years to come.
Via Greentech Media
Image Via Creative Commons
written by greenguru, October 29, 2008
written by Saudi, October 30, 2008
written by George Porridge, November 06, 2008
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