Massive renewable energy projects undertaken by the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries could turn them into solar energy exporters along with their large hydrocarbon exports, according to a veteran Arab energy analyst. "After oil, Arab countries could start exporting solar energy," said Nicolas Sarkis, Director of the Paris-based Arab Petroleum Research Centre (APRC), which acts as an adviser to the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.
«The development of solar energy is rapidly becoming a priority of energy policies pursued by most countries in the Middle East and North Africa, whether oil and natural gas producers or not," Sarkis wrote in the APRC's monthly magazine, Arab Petroleum and Gas. He said that in non-oil Arab countries, the growing interest being shown in solar power and other renewable energy sources is dictated not only by the deterioration in their energy deficits and the insufficiency of their indigenous fossil fuel resources but also by environmental imperatives and the technological progress that characterises the development of renewable energies.
As for the large hydrocarbon exporting countries in the Arab World, the exploitation of their huge potential in the area of solar energy reflects a dual concern to protect the environment and prepare the post-oil era, he said.