While all countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have set targets for renewable energy deployment at national or local levels, progress to date has been minimal. Analysis of renewables deployment initiatives around the world shows that success is highest when stated targets are supported by well-defined policy frameworks that reflect the regional context.
This chapter investigates current trends in renewable energy and climate policy with the aim of helping to identify the most effective and feasible recommendations to catalyze renewables deployment in GCC countries. To develop an optimal policy framework, the chapter considers the GCC context across multiple dimensions, including the underlying motivations for adoption of renewable energy.
The findings show that the international policy trend of using renewables auctions to stimulate deployment is optimally suited to GCC countries. Furthermore, regional energy subsidy reforms currently underway may provide a foundation for future policy frameworks aimed at explicit carbon pricing to support regional renewables deployment. An emissions trading system (ETS) is proposed as the most viable mechanism for such carbon pricing. Thus, a phased approach is suggested to create – and over time strengthen – an integrated energy and climate policy framework.