More evidence has arisen of the burgeoning potential for renewable power generation in the Middle East this week when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed up to a renewable joint venture to construct a portfolio of solar energy projects with a total investment of over $1.5bn.

The countries are seeking funds by the end of 2014 to finance the development of 1,000MW of projects. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself plans to invest around $100bn in order to add 41000 MW of solar energy to its generation capacity over the next two decades.

Saidi solar
Emirates Solar Industry Association president Vahid Fotuhi told Bloomberg that the proposed expansion across the countries including Jordan would require loans and export credits.

Investment in renewable industry across the Middle East and North Africa surged by 40 per cent to $2.9bn in 2012, reported Bloomberg citing the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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