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Gulf’s biggest asset is ‘sun in the sky’ – not its oil reserves

The Middle East could become a powerhouse of green industrialisation by exploiting its vast renewable energy sources, the chair of the Energy Transitions Commission has told AGBI at the Cop28 summit in Dubai.

“Your long-term asset in this region is not the oil under the ground, it’s the sun in the sky,” said Adair Turner, who now heads the global commission and formerly chaired the British government’s advisory committee on climate change.

“You’re blessed with limitless amounts of solar capacity,” he added – and this resource could decarbonise sectors such as steelmaking, which are among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

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By 2100, the Middle East will be a major provider of renewable energy for the world – so long as governments reinvest their oil and gas revenues into clean energy production, Lord Turner said. 

The cost of producing solar electricity has already fallen dramatically since the 1970s – from $100 per watt to just 12.5 cents today, he pointed out.

Watch the full video to hear Adair Turner explain how the Gulf can leave most of its hydrocarbons in the ground and still have a thriving economy

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