(PRWEB) February 21, 2010
The abundant sun resource in MENA is now being commercialised as governments and international enterprises speedily begin to enter the multi billion dollar solar market in the region, in the belief of making some multi billion dollar returns.
In 2009 the potential for the region really started to heat up with some of the following announcements:
- Egypt - combined Cycle Power Island was contracted, which is currently under construction and expected to start operation in the year 2010. A first 140 MW ISCC plant with a 20 MW parabolic trough solar field been built
- Tunisian government outlined plans to develop solar power capacity to diversify reliance on traditional source of electricity. 40 projects planned for 2010-2016, 29 schemes financed by private sector
- Morocco is undertaking a $9 billion solar energy project, with 5 solar power generation sites throughout Morocco producing 2,000 MW of electricity by 2020.
- Jordan has the JOAN1 project which is expected to enter operation in 2013 and will be the largest CSP project in the world using direct solar steam generation.
- Saudi Arabia is planning to make solar power a major contributor to energy supply in the next five-10 years, according to the Kingdom’s minister for petroleum and mineral resources.
“Saudi Arabia aspires to export as much solar energy in the future as it exports now,” said Ali Al-Naimi, in an interview with Reuters
- Masdar and Abu Dhabi - Altogether around 1500 MW of CSP is slated for development by 2020, with the first 100 MW already under construction at Madinat Zayed and due for completion in 2011. Even if the 1500 MW are developed, this could be just the start for the Emirate
- Abu Dhabi heats up the global solar market with $2 billion investment in photovoltaic manufacturing
- Algeria, a national goal has been set to provide for 10 percent of the energy demand with renewable energy by 2025. One solar thermal plant is under construction, and two more ISCC plants, each with an output of 400 MW and 70 MW CSP, will be developed between 2010 and 2015.
- Syria’s power demand is forecast to skyrocket and furthermore the demand pattern is shifting. Thus, investment, especially foreign, in its electricity sector together with a shift away from heavy fuel oil are now the priority
- Saudi Arabia launches solar water desalination programme. Saudi Arabia has begun building the first solar-powered water desalination plant, the first step in a three-part program to introduce solar energy into the Kingdom.
However what still remains unclear is how do businesses engage in these immense opportunities, what are the regulations and frameworks in place to support solar projects and how do they prepare for solar in desert conditions?
These are key questions facing project developers and solar manufacturers, and New Solar Today have invited to officials Ministry of Energy’s and Renewable Agencies across the region to disclose their solar agenda for 2010 and beyond at MENASOL 2010 – 2nd North Africa and Middle East Solar Conference & Expo, 4-5 May, Cairo.
The event has an impressive line marrying politics, business and key initiatives such as the Mediterranean Solar Plan, Desertec and Masdar which will give valuable insight to those serious about solar in MENA.
For more info, click here:
New Solar Today
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