GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
GCC initiatives of using renewable solar energy towards green economy: Is there a coherent integrated plan?
Paper Proposal Text :
This study aims to answer the question about the initiatives of Gulf cooperation countries (GCC) to incorporate the renewable solar energy along the course of developing green economy; the question is: do the current initiatives’ plans involve integration between the dimensions of sustainable development and energy policies? The study also proposes to help fill the gap in literature by shedding light on the important factors that can promote the use of sustainable solar energy in the GCC countries.

In view of the concerns over world energy supply, the GCC countries in parallel with other countries work to reduce the dependency on fossil fuel as a source for electrical power which is also accounts for 41% of global CO2 emissions [1]. Among various renewable energy sources, solar energy is receiving great consideration as a potential low carbon, free and sustainable substitute. Also, the abundant amount of daily solar radiation intensifies the desirability to shift to solar energy which is also driven by the increase of cost of the electrical power production accompanied by the GCC determinations of sustaining low prices of electrical power through governmental subsides. In contrast to the commercially available silicon based solar cells and solar energy concentrator, plastic solar cells offer an affordable and environmentally friendly approach in harvesting solar energy into electrical power, which makes solar cells attractive. In response, researchers are conducting an immense amount of work on plastic solar cells to meet their commercialisation efficiency [2-4].

The steps of the GCC countries in renewable solar energy initiatives align well with the goals of green economy and sustainable developments [5, 6]. However, in spite of the governmental efforts to employ solar energy in power production in the GCC countries, a coherent integrated comprehensive plan for endeavours towards the usage of solar energy in the GCC countries is absent.

The study will first explore public awareness and acceptance of the imperative need to shift towards solar energy and its benefits as a source of electrical power. Second, the study will explore how the current GCC initiatives to use solar energy (i) directly impacts employment (ii) and create the need of workforce with specific knowledge and training in renewable energy. The GCC initiatives will require personnel that can bring competency in design, installation, and service as well as research development for solar appliances [7-10]. To take these concerns into account, the study will examine the reach and extent of current educational programmes towards reinforcing the supply of educated personnel. We can take as an example the Australian and the US programmes [11, 12]. Third, the study discusses the public investment through allocating funds to research related to solar energy. Presently, several research funding bodies and agencies in the GCC consider renewable solar energy as a national priority and is topping their research agenda. In response to national needs, the study will look at the scope of research projects being funded towards sustainable solar energy.

The incorporation of solar energy appliances constitutes one of the bases of green buildings. However, solar energy systems still face challenges that prevent their wide deployment in the GCC. The study will scrutinize the impact of the energy policy of the GCC countries in comparison to that of other countries in order to achieve the domestic installation of solar energy appliances for household [13].
The study concludes with recommendation to reinforce the current and future of the GGC states initiatives in the implementation of solar energy along the path towards a green economy. The study will utilise review and analysis of international literature.

Motivation for the study

The GCC countries have embarked on several initiatives towards green economy by employing renewable solar energy to generate electrical power. Those projects together with being a GCC citizen, a scientific knowledge of solar cells, and experience in the education field draw my attention to explore the obstacles and the key factors to promote domestic implementation of solar energy in the gulf region as well as the opportunities and challenges along this path. In this research, I attempt to answer a principal a question that usually comes across when thinking about solar power for green economy; the question is: do the current initiatives plans integrate the economic and the social dimensions of sustainable development and the energy policies that have direct impacts on those initiatives?

Key words: solar energy, solar cells, renewable energy policy, employment, incentives, green economy.


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