Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy Khalid Al-Falih has announced that his country will be generating 10% of its electricity from renewable sources within six years. The announcement comes one week since the Saudi government named 51 companies that will be allowed to bid on a series of new green development projects. And so the kingdom continues to pursue the diversification of its energy mix, closing the gap between itself and other Gulf countries in this area and reducing domestic consumption that weighs heavily on oil exports. Raising exports has become indispensable to the Saudis’ efforts to offset falling revenue.
Meanwhile, the UK government has announced new plans for the future of its own energy mix. In spite of a the falling cost of generation from renewable sources worldwide, the government has opted to reduce the number of contracts for the development of green projects in order to put more focus on local natural gas production.
By contrast, Mauritius has been showing growing interest in renewable energy, along with other island nations of the Indian Ocean, whose very existence, according to some experts, is threatened by global warming. The Mauritian government is now looking to Australia’s $7.5 million renewables-based microgrid at the HMAS Stirling naval base on Garden Island (Western Australia) as a template. The use of renewables was opted for by the Australian navy in order to ensure greater autonomy and stability than would have been possible by connecting to the mainland grid. The developer tasked with the Garden Island project – Carnegie Clean Energy – has been commissioned by the Australian and Mauritian governments to draw up a renewable energy roadmap for the country that will bring the share of renewables in its energy mix (from the current 20%) to 35% by 2015.