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Solar Energy Potentials and Benefits in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: A Review of Substantial Issues

Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Jubail Industrial College, P.O. Box 10099, Jubail Industrial City 31261, Saudi Arabia
Department of Management and Information Technology, Jubail Industrial College, P.O. Box 10099, Jubail Industrial City 31261, Saudi Arabia
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7GJ, Scotland, UK
Department of Civil Engineering, Jubail University College, P.O. Box 10074, Jubail Industrial City 31261, Saudi Arabia
Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica, Automática y Física Aplicada, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería y Diseño Industrial, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ronda de Valencia 3, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(2), 372;
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
PDF [5018 KB, uploaded 7 February 2018]


It is a well-known fact that the fossil fuel industry has dominated the economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries during the last few decades. However, recent developments show that most of the GCC countries plan to increase the share of renewable energy (RE) in their future electrical power production. To ensure realistic increase in the share of RE in the production of electricity in the future, firm policies must be laid down with the objective to promote and market the benefit of RE to their citizens. Due to the high-solar radiation in the GCC region, the focus is now on solar energy development. This paper presents an up-to-date review of the progress made on solar energy in the GCC together with the challenges and the way forward. Some of the challenges and barriers hindering the development of RE in the GCC are in the area of technological know-how, policy development, and insufficient application of RE technology integrated in the buildings among others. Areas of improvement include promoting research and development, public/private initiatives, legislation and regulatory framework, solutions to technical issues and exchange of knowledge, scientific advice, and last but not the least is the issue of building integration with RE. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; solar energy; GCC renewable energy; solar energy; GCC

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Mas’ud, A.A.; Wirba, A.V.; Alshammari, S.J.; Muhammad-Sukki, F.; Abdullahi, M.M.; Albarracín, R.; Hoq, M.Z. Solar Energy Potentials and Benefits in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: A Review of Substantial Issues. Energies 2018, 11, 372.

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