The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) power sector launched a number of renewable energy initiatives on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on 15-17 January. During the summit UAE-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) presented a report on renewable power generation costs in 2012 which showed that renewable sources are increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. Irena said “solar energy, for example, has already become cheaper than diesel generation in many situations, with clear benefits for communities far away from the electricity grid.”

UAE environment minister Rashid Ahmad bin Fahd announced a government plan to develop a strategy for green growth. “We are currently forming a steering committee,” he said, “which aims to develop a roadmap for implementing the UAE’s strategies for green growth to be completed by the end of 2013. The UAE’s action plan focuses on four main pillars – policy development, data management and building local capacity, as well as the implementation of pilot projects.” (CONTINUED - 556 WORDS)