The world is facing unprecedented demand on every type of energy source to satisfy the energy thirst of urban development around the globe. The GCC countries are no exception. Kuwait, as an example of the GCC countries, consumed more than 160 million barrels equivalent of energy resources in 2010 alone to fulfill domestic energy demand. The overall energy consuming industries includes electrical power generation and water desalination plants, the oil industry, fuels for local transportation, and household use. The power generation and water desalination and oil industries have the highest share at around 53% and 27%, respectively. In the power plants, most of this energy is consumed as fuel for boilers to generate steam. Fuel required to run those plants in 2009 alone is a mix of heavy oil (44 million barrels); crude oil (20 million barrels); gas oil (11 million barrels) and 150,123 million m3 of natural gas. In the oil industries, the steam is used to heat petroleum feedstock for refining processes. For both power stations and oil industries, fuel cost represents a major portion of the operating cost.

Focusing attention on the power generation industry, the GCC demand for electricity has had an annual growth rate of 6-8% in the last decade and is expected to stay within the range of 5-6% in the next decade. The annual amount of fuels consumed by the power industry exceeds 4,500 million for 2010 in Kuwait alone.

This talk will explore the challenges facing the economic and social development in the GCC and highlight the opportunity lying in renewable resources, especially solar and wind, to develop an industry that will play a major role in the sustainable development of the region and secure unconventional jobs for the younger generation.


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  • Received: 05 February 2012
  • Accepted: 13 March 2012
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