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Expert sees growing EU-GGC cooperation in clean energy

The collaboration between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the renewable energy sector is progressing “very well,” a said leading energy expert Thursday.

Speaking to KUNA, Frank Wouters — Director of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network — affirmed that there was a lot of interest in events focusing on developing cooperation between the EU-funded ensemble and the six-member states of the GCC.

The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The official’s statement came on the sidelines of a seminar on “EU opportunities for the energy transition in the Mediterranean and the GCC regions” held as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels.

Carrying on, the director noted that the network in April organised a study tour for GCC officials to Germany, which was highly appreciated, adding that the officials looked at the clean energy sites and installation and research institutions in the country.

Wouters said oil price fluctuations have little effect on clean energy projects in the GCC.

“The business rationale for switching into renewable makes sense even if a country earns a lot of money from hydrocarbons. Renewables save you a lot of money and you can use the hydrocarbons for higher-value purposes like in the petrochemical and fertiliser industry which is much more interesting than burning them for electricity when you can do the same cheaper with solar panels,” he said.

Meanwhile, experts and analysts at the seminar discussed policies, technologies and best practices that can unlock the clean energy potential in the Mediterranean and the Gulf (GCC) regions.

They spoke about the challenges of the transition towards clean energy that is currently taking place and how EU stakeholders can engage and establish win-win partnerships in these regions, at a policy, technology/industry and research level.

Wouters told the seminar that the Middle East has presented several world-record breaking solar energy plants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

He noted that hydrogen is now seen as a fuel of the future and it is being developed across Saudi Arabia with incredible results.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is an annual event organised by the European Commission.

Nearly 2,500 policy makers, authorities, industry, stakeholders, NGOs, researchers and academia from Europe and around the world are taking part in the 4-day event. EUSEW debates energy policy, creates networking opportunities and spreads the word about the latest developments on the sustainable energy market and in research.

Source: Kuwait News Agency