Biggest renewable energy projects in the Middle East

UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region with landmark initiatives
Biggest renewable energy projects in the Middle East
The Middle East has many groundbreaking renewable energy projects

The Middle East has long been relying on oil and gas — not just in terms of revenues but also in power generation. But in the past years, the region has positioned itself as a leader in the renewable energy sector, boasting numerous renewable energy projects. Here are some of the biggest renewable energy projects in the region by value.

The transition to renewable energy

From 2023 to 2028, Mordor Intelligence forecasts that the Middle East renewable energy market will grow 13.43 percent annually. The major driver? Various government plans that aim to increase renewables in their energy mix. For instance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants clean energy to make up 50 percent of its total energy supply by 2050.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has also launched the Pan-Arab Clean Energy Initiative. During the 2013 Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, the Arab League adopted the initiative, with leaders pledging to increase the region’s renewable power generation capacity from 12 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 80 GW by 2030.

Top 10 ​renewable energy projects in the Middle East

Showcasing the Middle East’s steadfast commitment to cleaning up its power, here are the region’s most significant renewable energy projects by value.

Barakah Nuclear Power Plant

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Capacity: 5,600 MW
  • Value: $24 billion

The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant is a landmark project, serving not only as the UAE’s inaugural nuclear power station but also as the Arab world’s first commercial facility of its kind. Located in Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi, it commenced construction in 2012. Units 1 to 3 are already operational. It’s pivotal in the UAE’s energy diversification, supplying 25 percent of its electricity. It is projected to prevent 22 million tons of CO2 emissions annually once fully operational. This is equivalent to emissions produced by 4.8 million cars.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Dubai, UAE
  • Capacity: 5,000 MW
  • Value: $13.6 billion

Sitting on a total area of 77 square kilometers, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park touts itself as the world’s largest single-site solar park. Project completion could be in 2030, and by then, it could reach a 5,000 MW capacity. Once fully developed, it could also cut over 6.5 million tons of CO2 annually, contributing to the city’s ambitious net-zero emissions and clean energy goals by 2050. Its fourth phase boasts the tallest solar tower in the globe (over 263 meters) and the largest thermal energy storage capacity (nearly 6,000 MW hours).

NEOM Green Hydrogen Project

renewable energy projects

  • Location: NEOM, Saudi Arabia
  • Capacity: 600 tons per day (Green Hydrogen)
  • Value: $8.4 billion

NEOM is a giga project demonstrating Saudi Arabia’s robust efforts to embrace a green, AI-driven future. One of the sustainable projects in this development is the NEOM Green Hydrogen Project. A collaboration of NEOM, ACWA Power and Air Products, it combines onshore solar, wind and energy storage, targeting 600 tons of daily green hydrogen output by 2026. This utility-scale venture aids Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, mitigating five million metric tons of CO2 yearly.

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Benban Solar Park

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Aswan, Egypt
  • Capacity: 1,800 MW
  • Value: $4 billion

Egypt’s Benban Solar Park is a $4 billion project in Aswan, comprising 41 solar power plants. One of the biggest solar photovoltaic parks in the world, it spans 37 square kilometers with seven million photovoltaic panels. The initiative is a component of Egypt’s Nubian Suns Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (FiT) program, which was unveiled in September 2014.

Al Shuaibah PV 1 and Al Shuaibah PV 2

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Mecca Province, Saudi Arabia
  • Capacity: 2,631 MW
  • Value: $2.4 billion

By 2030, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) wants to develop 70 percent of the country’s clean energy capacity. One of the most essential renewable energy projects it helps build is the Al Shuaibah solar project. It comprises the Al Shuaibah PV 1 and Al Shuaibah PV 2, which can produce 600 MW and 2,031 MW, respectively. Combined, they can supply energy to an impressive 450,000 households. Apart from the PIF-owned Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), ACWA Power and Saudi Aramco Power Company serve as developers. 

Gulf of Suez Wind Power Project

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Gulf of Suez, Egypt
  • Capacity: 1,100 MW
  • Value: $1.5 billion

In November last year, ACWA Power and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Together, they will invest in this 1,100 MW wind energy project in Gabal el Zeit and the Gulf of Suez. It’s one of the world’s largest onshore wind farms, aiming to power over a million families and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 2.4 million tons. This project marked the first time the TSFE invested in the leading Saudi developer’s portfolio.

Sudair Solar Power Plant

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Capacity: 1,500 MW
  • Value: $924 million

Poised to be a leading solar PV facility, the Sudair Solar Power Plant made a mark in the renewable energy scene by recording the second-lowest global cost for Solar PV electricity production ($1.239/kWh). It’s also the first project under Saudi PIF’s renewable energy program. This power plant is designed to offset 2.9 million tons of emissions annually and power 185,000 homes. Earlier in October, the facility’s Group 1 (representing half of its total capacity) received its initial commercial operation certificate.

Noor Abu Dhabi

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Capacity: 1,177 MW
  • Value: $870 million

Noor Abu Dhabi holds a 1,177 MW capacity, offsetting a million metric tons of CO2. Located in the town of Sweihan, it features 3.2 million solar panels across 8 square kilometers. A joint venture of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, Marubeni Corp and Jinko Solar Holding, it aligns with the UAE’s clean energy goals and offers power to 90,000 people. The project saw its construction begin in May 2017. Meanwhile, commercial operations started in April 2019. A year after its operations commenced, it recorded a 93 percent efficiency rate in terms of energy availability.

Dumat Al Jandal Wind Power Plant

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Al Jouf, Saudi Arabia
  • Capacity: 400 MW
  • Value: $500 million

Saudi Arabia’s Dumat Al Jandal Wind Power Plant boasts 99 turbines that generate 400 MW. it provides carbon-free electricity for 70,000 homes. Developed by EDF Renewables and Masdar, it supports Saudi Arabia’s climate goals, reducing nearly 1 million tons of CO2 annually. Construction began in September 2019 and has been connected to the grid since 2021. It is the first wind farm in Saudi — and the largest in the Middle East.

Al Kharsaah Solar Power Plant

renewable energy projects

  • Location: Doha, Qatar
  • Capacity
  • Value: $467 million

Qatar is also taking a giant step in advancing renewable energy in the region. Its Al Kharsaah Solar Power Plant covers 10 square kilometers and boasts 800 MW capacity. Developed by TotalEnergies, Marubeni and Siraj Energy, it signifies Qatar’s foray into large-scale solar energy. With advanced features like bifacial solar modules and semi-automated cleaning systems, it can supply 10 percent of Qatar’s peak power, reducing 26 million tons of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.

Final thoughts

All these ambitious renewable energy projects reflect the Middle East’s strong commitment to clean energy. Innovative, groundbreaking and boasting millions or billions in price tags, they give the global renewable energy sector a substantial boost — and a great dose of hope that a more sustainable future is attainable. 

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