Kuwait began operating its first solar power plant at the Umm Gudair oil field. The Sidrah 500 project is worth $99m and is expected to produce 10MW of electricity, reported Reuters.

Half of the project’s power production will be supplied to the public electricity network, while the remaining half will be used to supply the oil field itself, which is owned by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), a subsidiary of state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, according to The National News.

The inauguration of the plant followed increased interest in renewable energy in Kuwait and across the Gulf region during recent years, as the scale of the consumption challenge has become clear. In 2015, Kuwait announced plans to generate 15% of its energy needs via renewable sources by 2030.  Furthermore, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research signed a contract with Spain’s TSK to establish the country’s first solar thermal energy plant, with a planned production capacity of 50MW, in addition to the institute’s Shaqaya initiative with solar and wind projects planned for the northwest of the country.