The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region belongs to the few areas in the world where investment in renewable energy appears to be overcoming the global economic crisis. Fresh investment in renewable energy in the region amounted to USD 2.9 billion in 2012, up by about 40% from that of 2011 and a 6.5-times growth from 2004.
The region’s growth in the renewable energy sector posted increased confidence among investors from 2009 to 2012, exhibited primarily by the entry of some of the largest international energy corporations into the solar energy market, including, in particular, national and global oil and gas companies.
Solar energy has gained the top average annual growth in the region’s power generation production.
Wind ranks second with average annual growth of 27%, about five times over that of fossil fuels, while retaining the lead in total installed capacity among non-hydro renewables.
Based on absolute values, hydroelectric power still holds the chief renewable energy source for power generation in MENA at present.
The percentage share of renewable energy climbed to 3.3%, up by 0.4% percentage points within the same period. Although this may appear like a negligible gain, it should be emphasized that renewable power generation garnered shares against traditional power sources despite a marked increase in demand for electricity, which makes this growth truly significant.