Solar Energy and Sustainable Desalination in the Middle East

The recent World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and International Water Summit (IWS), both held from January 19-22 in Abu Dhabi as part of the city’s Sustainability Week, highlighted the Middle East region’s growing need for environmentally-sustainable methods of water desalination to provide clean water to growing populations.  


The Gulf Cooperation Council, an intergovernmental body which includes the United Arab Emirates, reiterated its plans to invest over $300 billion in water sustainability through the year 2022.  In his keynote speech at WFES, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned renewable energy company, emphasized the region’s urgent need to increase access to a wide variety of renewable energy sources.  


Traditional methods of desalination are highly energy intensive and contribute to rising carbon emissions, forcing countries to choose between clean water and a clean environment.  As Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week highlights, this is a choice which the Middle East will no longer consider.  The region has a unique opportunity to align its abundant solar energy resources with its need for a sustainable and green source of clean water. 


The GIC has compiled sets of public domain innovation on a variety of solar energy technologies.  Over 9,500 pieces of innovation on this topic have no legal protection in the UAE.  The GIC also has sets on water desalination methods using renewable sources of power.  Over 11,800 pieces of public domain innovation relating to these technologies exist for the UAE.  


View the complete GIC sets for Solar energy and Renewable Power Desalination by country here:





International Water Summit. “Synopsis.”


World Future Energy Summit. “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week to Highlight Growth in Solar-Powered Water Desalination.”


World Future Energy Summit. “Masdar CEO Stresses the Commercial Viability of Renewable Energy as a Critical Technology to Meet Rising Global Energy Demand.”




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