Emerging Tech

Why Middle Eastern Oil States Are the New Solar-Energy Hotspots

Kamran Jebreili/AP

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant went online yesterday—in Abu Dhabi.

The inauguration of the 100-megawatt Shams 1 power station by Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar underscores the emergence of Middle East petro-kingdoms as the new hot market for solar energy as European markets constrict and developers in the US face hurdles to building massive projects in fragile desert environments.

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For OPEC states, renewable energy is a long-term strategy to preserve their most precious resource. The more solar electricity sun-soaked, oil-rich nations like the United Arab Emirates can produce to power their domestic economies, the more petroleum they conserve to export.

Get the full story at Quartz.

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