(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Nawab Khan
BRUSSELS, June 11 (KUNA) -- Two energy experts, one Arab and one European, see big opportunities for renewable energy in the Gulf States and have called for a closer European-Gulf cooperation in the sector.
"Gulf states starting from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain are putting extreme operational steps for investing in renewable energy and for expansion of renewable energy," Executive Director of the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) Ahmed Bader told KUNA in an interview on Monday.
RCREEE, based in Cairo, is an intergovernmental organization that aims to enable and increase the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency practices in the Arab region.
"What I have seen from the commitment from these four countries are very serious. They are taking the plans very positive. They are putting investments like the Shagaya project in Kuwait and they are putting plans like the research center in Kuwait run by Salem al-Hajraf," said Bader.
He noted that the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Summit 2018 was held in Kuwait in April as a sign of growing interests in clean energy in the region. Bader said the involvement of the private sector in renewable energy is a "very smart approach" by the Gulf States, which are expanding renewable energy through new technology including mega solar and wind projects, solar rooftops and smart energy solution.
The smart mix of renewable energy with gas and oil investment projects now are the best and most advanced approach, stressed the Arab energy expert.
He called for increased cooperation between Europe and the Gulf countries in the clean energy sector.
"That is why we are here with the EU-GCC network to see how we can put a regional platform with the EU and also to use the European investment plan to go for international partnership between the GCC, the EU and RCREE," he added.
Both experts have participated in the EU Sustainable Energy Week held in Brussels last week that dedicated one session on tackling opportunities for the energy transition in the Mediterranean and the Gulf regions.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of the Solar Power Europe James Watson said that the Brussels-based organization has set up a task force for emerging markets, as many of its members are very active outside the EU.
"There is a huge potential of solar power in the Gulf region and Kuwait as well. There is very good solar radiation but we have not seen till now the potentials used by the Gulf countries," he noted.
He explained that this is due to the history of fossil fuels like oil and gas, which have been very dominant in the area.
Watson added that he was pleased that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been putting plans to utilize solar power. (end) nk.ag
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