Alternative energy for the Gulf

With booming domestic demand for power, the hydrocarbon-rich Arabian Gulf countries are exploring the use of alternative and renewable energy resources – including coal, nuclear, solar, wind and hydrogen. There are 114 active power generation projects of all types in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE worth a combined total of well over USD 160 billion. A design study is being carried out for a USD 500 million solar power plant for the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. Masdar. The project calls for the design, supply, installation and operation of a 500MW solar plant. It aims to decrease the use of oil and gas in power generation to preserve hydrocarbon reserves. In co-operation with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., Masdar is also studying the possibility of building a hydrogen-fired power plant. The project is in the early stage of study but has a budget of USD 100 million. There are also major plans in Saudi Arabia for waste to energy plants. The plants aim to convert commercially hazardous, organic and toxic wastes into saleable electricity and potable water. One of the first plants could be in Jeddah with four to six more plants in major cities.
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