Renewable Energy in the Arab Region: Overview of developments

December 2016

The potential for widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies in the Arab region is considerable. Rapid demographic growth and the rising need for economic development call for additional, stable energy sources that can satisfy demand while protecting the environment.

The growth of the renewable energy market in 2014–2015 and falling costs for renewable energy technologies are positive signs, prompting policy makers to look more seriously than ever into the potential of clean and sustainable energy sources.  Despite difficulties faced by regional economies and energy sectors, the Arab region is taking bold steps to advance renewables and play a significant role in the global energy transition.

The renewable energy landscape in the Arab region is evolving rapidly. This overview captures developments as of 2016 and showcases steps taken at the national and regional levels to drive the transition to renewable energy.

The publication reviews developments and provides information on:

  • Renewable energy potential and increasing installed capacity;
  • National renewable energy targets in Arab countries;
  • National renewable energy action plans (NREAPs);
  • Policies to foster a renewable energy transition; and
  • New pledges towards sustainable energy as set in Arab countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) on climate.

In 2014, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) partnered with the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) to identify a set of actions to support countries in triggering increase investments in renewable energy projects. These actions are highlighted in a study, Pan-Arab Renewable Energy Strategy 2030: Roadmap of Actions for Implementation. IRENA and its partners continue to support countries of the Arab region in fulfilling their renewable energy objectives.