OPEC producer Kuwait is lagging behind in projects to expand the use of renewable energy although it was one of the first Arab countries to comply with UN climate targets, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Monday. 

Kuwait has announced its commitment to boost renewable energy use  to 1 percent of the total energy mix in 2015 and to 15 percent in 2030, the Arabic language daily Alanba said. 

“The total renewable energy use is still far below targets, standing at only around 0.3 percent of the Emirate’s total electricity production,” the paper said, citing a government report. 

“Although the International Renewable Energy Agency paid tributes to Kuwait in 2010 for being one of the first countries to endorse the Agency’s creation, measures taken by Kuwait in the renewable energy sector has remained very slow.” 

The report said Kuwait’s Electricity Ministry must “give more attention” to renewable energy projects to increase reliance on solar power, noting that one of the region’s largest solar power projects have been very slow. 

The report was referring to Shagaya solar power station, which has not been fully completed although it was launched more than 10 years ago. 

Shagaya plant, built on 84 square kilometres in the desert location of Al-Shagaya, is approximately 100 km west of the capital Kuwait City and comprises multiple renewable technologies as well as interconnection and site infrastructure.  

In February 2019, Kuwait started commercial operations at a 50-megawatt plant, marking the completion of first phase of the project. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach, Editing by Anoop Menon)