Top 5 renewable energy projects in the Middle East
Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, etc., have recently witnessed an upsurge in the energy transition toward renewables. The area, which once relied on its huge oil and gas sources for income, is now finally supporting the goals for zero-carbon emissions.
The region could get roughly 26% of its primary energy supply from renewable sources by 2050, and its overall renewable share in the power sector could reach up to 53%, according to IRENA's Global Energy Transitions Outlook (WETO). This would allow the area to achieve emission reductions equal to 1.1 Gt CO2/yr.
The region is increasing its reliance on renewables, especially hydrogen. In terms of green hydrogen, the Middle East has proposed strategies to meet demand from export markets and challenging sectors. Multiple large projects are being planned to help the region reach its renewable energy targets. Some massive Renewable Energy Projects in the Middle East are worth mentioning. We examine the top projects that have the potential to significantly boost the region's renewable future.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
Location – Dubai, UAE
Capacity – 5000 MW
Based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the biggest single-site solar park in the world. By 2030, the project is expected to have a 5,000 MW production capacity, with investments totaling AED 50 billion ($13.6 billion). Once completed, the project will reduce annual carbon emissions by more than 6.5 million tons.
By 2050, clean energy is expected to make up 100% of the capacity for energy production, according to the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050. The gradual construction of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is a step in the right direction.
For the first time in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park helped Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) win the Best Sustainable Project of the Year in the UAE at the 2014 MEED Quality Awards.
Shuaibah Two (2) Solar Facility
Location – Mecca Province, Saudi Arabia
Capacity – 2060 MW
The Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), a division of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the private utility ACWA Power in Saudi Arabia struck an agreement to create one of the largest renewable energy projects in the Middle East. By the end of 2025, the project, which will be situated Al Shuaibah in the governorate of Mecca, is anticipated to power about 350,000 houses.
According to the deal, Badeel and ACWA Power would share ownership of the project, each owning a 50% stake through the creation of the Shuaibah Two Electrical Energy Company. The undertaking represents a significant step toward PIF's goal of creating 70% renewable energy in Saudi Arabia by 2030.
NEOM Green Hydrogen Project
Location – NEOM, Saudi Arabia
Capacity – 600 tons per day (Green Hydrogen)
The largest utility-scale, commercial hydrogen facility in the world that is fully fueled by renewable energy is called the NEOM Green Hydrogen Project. The project, a partnership between NEOM, Air Products, and ACWA Power, incorporates onshore solar, wind, and energy storage resources with a total combined capacity of about four gigawatts. The mega-plant will produce up to 600 tons of green ammonia per day, or carbon-free hydrogen, in support of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.
When fully operational, the project will reduce global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by roughly five million metric tonnes annually. In 2026, the $5 billion green hydrogen plant will begin producing hydrogen.
Gulf of Suez Wind Power Project
Location – Gulf of Suez, Egypt
Capacity – 1100 MW
The 1.1 GW wind project will be situated in Egypt's Gabal el Zeit and Gulf of Suez regions. The wind project is one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world and the largest single contracted wind farm in the Middle East. When completed, the project is anticipated to provide green electricity to 1,080,000 families while lowering annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 2.4 million tonnes.
By the end of 2026, the project is anticipated to be operational on a commercial scale. The project's investment value was set at $1.5 billion by ACWA Power.
Al-Ajban Solar Park
Location – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Capacity – 1500 MW
The new Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project with a power generation capacity of 1,500MW (AC) has been announced by Emirates Water and Electricity Co. (EWEC) as a Request for Proposals (RFP) to qualified companies and consortiums that have expressed interest. The project will be built in the Ajban region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Some 160,000 houses across the UAE are anticipated to receive power from the project. Once fully service, the project may bring Abu Dhabi's solar power up to 4GW and cut CO2 emissions by up to 2.4 million metric tonnes annually. Al Ajban Solar PV Project is one of three solar power initiatives that will be crucial in enabling the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. The other two initiatives are Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra Solar PV Project.