Arab countries, mainly the Gulf Cooperation countries have traditionally been oil and gas producing economies. They have 30% and 26% of world’s proven oil and gas reserves. India imports majority of its crude oil from the Middle East making energy one of the key sectors in bilateral trade. For the current year, the total budget for big energy projects in Arab countries is around 337 billion USD. Research suggests despite uncertainties in global markets and weak global demand additional development worth 622 billion USD is planned for the energy sector in overall MENA region.
The latest trend in energy markets in Arab countries suggests that apart from the traditional oil market this region also has a promising market for renewable energy. In 2017, UAE has allotted a big budget of approximately 13600 million USD for a large solar park project. Countries like Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and UAE are focusing on increasing the installed capacity in clean energy generation that includes solar PV, wind, and nuclear energy. Recently Jordan completely solarized a refugee colony. Apart from this, all the countries in the League of Arab States have ambitious targets for increasing the share of renewables in their energy mix by 2030. This poses a great opportunity for the world to invest in the renewables sector in these countries.
If one looks at the renewable energy trajectory of India one finds that it is the first country in the world to set up a separate ministry for non-conventional energy. Under the auspices of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy India has successfully ventured on the path of greening its energy mix. India currently has an installed capacity of 57244 MW of renewable energy and has an ambitious target of 175000 MW by 2030. This makes India a big market for renewable energy. Thus partnering with the Arab world, India has a lot to gain from both conventional and non-conventional energy sectors’ point of view. India, through its various initiatives like National Solar Mission and International Solar Alliance, is currently leading the world in the solar sector. An energy wing at IACCIA has been working towards mobilizing investment in conventional and non-conventional energy sector in both regions as well as influencing energy policies of both regions by way of creating a strong network of renewable energy players.