Economic solutions (1/5): Natural resources

Khaled Al-Mutawa

Although Kuwait is highly dependable on producing and consuming oil as a source of energy, it is not the only option. The State of Kuwait is located in the north-eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, and it borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Despite its small size, Kuwait is one of the richest countries in the world. The reason for this is simple. Namely, the natural resources of Kuwait have strongly influenced the state’s economic development.

Kuwait is well-known for its massive reserves of oil. Specifically, Kuwait is ranked fifth in the oil reserves, and the country is the third-largest oil producer in the world with ninety-three percent of exports. The country has six percent of the world’s oil reserves. Therefore, it may be stated that the main natural resource of Kuwait is petroleum. The country entirely oil-based and oil-dependent. In 2011, 83 percent of Kuwait’s revenues total was received from extractive industries. Remarkably, the state has a dry climate with extremely hot summers and short winters. Owing to the climate conditions, Kuwait has poor plant resource but lots of sunlight, another crucial natural resource

The country should start developing solar energy since petroleum is an exhausting resource and the new sources of energy will be required.  Further, Kuwait has access to the Gulf. This fact means that the country has valuable marine resources. From this, sea can be used to generate power and develop fishery, including shrimp production.

Particularly, the Sun and the sea could be used to substitute oil and provide Kuwait with the necessary amount of energy. The Sun has been known as a source of energy for a long time already, and some of the households, cities, and countries are taking advantage of its low cost. For Kuwait, the production of solar energy is a promising direction of development due to the state’s geographical location close to the equator. In fact, the country has already started implementing this idea and has already opened the first plant of this type (Hagagy). Moreover, over the next two decades, it plans to increase the production of energy using renewable resources by 15 percent. Potentially, such production might increase diversity Kuwaiti economic specialization and allow it export solar energy to other states.

However, solar energy is not the only way for Kuwait to decrease its dependence on oil. Since it is situated on the Persian Gulf, the country could take advantage of another natural resource, the seawater, and its energy. Currently, there are special technologies that allow to install the special equipment in the water and collect the kinetic energy from the movements of water, such as tides. However, the potential amount of such energy source is lower compared to the solar energy, and it is still capable of providing a percentage of the state’s needs for energy.

By Khaled Al-Mutawa

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