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Gulf renewables push finds fresh ballast

GCC states are rethinking their approach to energy pricing, as the solar PV revolution shatters old preconceptions

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing. In 2006, when the UAE authorities first conceived the plan to build a four-reactor, 5.6-gigawatt capacity nuclear power plant at Barakah—due for commissioning this year—this appeared the most cost-effective means of meeting rapidly escalating domestic power consumption. Given the then outlook for natural gas prices and an annual electricity demand growth of upwards of 6-7%, nuclear seemed an efficient means of ensuring security of supply. Fast-forward 10 years, and nuclear's attraction is being rapidly eclipsed by the surge in solar power. Abu Dhabi is expecting to add 5-6 GW of new solar energy capacity by 2025, with a new 1-GW solar plant due to begin

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