Middle East Pursues 150 Renewable Projects, Saves Oil for Export

The Middle East and North Africa, home to about half the world’s oil reserves, has more than 150 renewable-energy projects under way, a map from the Abu Dhabi-based Clean Energy Business Council shows.

The interactive map, based on Google Inc. technology, plots solar, wind, geothermal and biomass plants in the region, the council’s website shows. It will be updated regularly to track the industry’s progress, the CEBC said today in a statement.

“By making this data available to the public, we hope to push further the development of the renewable-energy industry,” said Aaron Bielenberg, chief executive officer of the council. “The previous general lack of awareness made policy makers and capital providers feel the industry was smaller and hence riskier than it actually is.”

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa were responsible for 36 percent of global oil production and held 52 percent of proved reserves last year, according to BP Plc data. The region is now developing alternative sources of energy to meet rising domestic demand and save more crude for export.

While the Middle East’s renewables capacity as a percentage of total energy output remains lower than all other regions, cumulative capacity more than doubled in the past 10 years, according to data provider Energici Holdings Inc.

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