Bahrain has pledged to meet 10 percent of its total energy consumption through renewable sources by 2035, doubling the 5 percent goal by 2025, said Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
In a keynote address at the Solar Utilities Network (SUN) Forum yesterday, held alongside the Gulf Industry Fair 2018 at Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, the minister said the country has been experiencing growth rates in electricity demand of up to 6 percent annually, which requires the implementation of large projects.
Bahrain currently meets its entire electricity needs using natural gas (about 4,000MW), and the government has approved plans to build a 100MW solar power station as a public private partnership project, he said.
The solar plant project will provide for 2.5 percent of the country’s electricity needs and the national goal is to increasing energy efficiency by 6 percent by 2025. The tendering process will begin soon, said Dr Mirza and the project will be ready for operations by the end of 2019.
The government will provide the land for the project, and is set to purchase the plant’s production of electricity at a specified tariff that will be agreed on when the project is awarded.
Dr Mirza said one of the important steps taken by the government in seeking to secure a green environment and clean energy was the establishment of the Sustainable Energy Unit (SEU) in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The unit is charged with encouraging investment in renewable energies like solar energy.
The minister said he expects the investment in renewable energy and clean energy to be attractive to Gulf investments.
A report from Middle East Electricity (MEE) last month claimed that the GCC requires a combined $131 billion worth of investment in electricity generation, transmission and distribution over the next five years. Bahrain is said to need the least investment, with $1.9 billion for generation, and $1.1 billion for transmission and distribution.