GCCIA Exploring Cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA

The CEO of the GCCIA has deputized Engr. Ahmed Al-Ebrahim the Chief Operating Officer along with Engr. Nasser Al-Shahrani, Director of Operations and Control at the GCC Interconnection Authority to represent the GCCIA in a workshop planned by IRENA and partners targeting regional initiatives to develop renewable power. The workshop was held on 22nd January 2014 in IRENA regional Head Quarters in Abu Dhabi.

Engr. Ahmed Al-Ebrahim the Chief Operating Officer has explained that as the Arab region has enormous undeveloped solar and wind power resources, energy policymakers in the Arab world and especially in the GCC have become increasingly aware of the renewable energy potential, and the need to diversify their energy resources due to vastly increased demand on fuel sources. Renewables have become a strategic choice and a number of high-profile renewable power projects and bold initiatives have been launched. The LAS has recently adopted a Pan-Arab Renewable Energy Strategy aiming at significant development of renewable resources for electricity generation by the year 2030. However, successful implementation of this strategy requires significant investment in both new renewable power plants and transmission system infrastructure. 

The workshop has been a result of collaboration between International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) , the League of Arab States (LAS), the UN organizations, the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), the Arab Union for Electricity (AUE), and Arab power pools to identify the key actions needed.

In conclusion, the workshop partners including GCCIA are planning to launch a Clean Energy Initiative in the Arab Region (Solar bridge Initiative) to integrate greater amounts of renewable electricity in the power systems, and to help achieve the 2030 target of the Pan-Arab Renewable Energy Strategy. The meeting has identified GCCIA as a regional interconnector with a significant role to achieve successful integration of renewable energy projects into the GCC interconnected grids.