Experts in the renewable energy sector have agreed that the impact of large-scale solar energy projects being planned or completed in the Middle East and North Africa will positively reduce the cost of developing solar energy globally.
Dr Martin Keller, director of the National Renewable Energies Laboratory, said: “Cost-effective progress in large-scale solar projects at the regional level is contributing to lower investment costs in other markets.
“The Middle East and North Africa region is witnessing remarkable developments in terms of planning for a huge infrastructure in the field of energy systems. Solar energy is an excellent opportunity for this region and the sector,” said Keller, director of the only federal laboratory in the United States dedicated to the research, development, “Given the potential of these large projects to continue to enhance cost efficiencies each time they are completed, the MENA region is witnessing significant achievements for the renewable energy sector as a whole.”
Speaking at the inaugural session of the World Smart Energy Summit, which is being held alongside the Middle East Electricity Show in Dubai, UAE, he said: “We are working on a path to renewable energy sources and we see this happening across the region – It is a very smart move, and instead of burning and consuming it in local markets, the production and export of large quantities of natural gas and oil can return some money. Regional countries are investing in renewable energy sources and are still exporting natural gas and oil, making solar and other energy sources Renewable as a A very important opportunity ».
“Power generation from very large facilities that produce gigawatts of energy is shifting to smaller installations that produce hundreds of megawatts because of their flexibility and security,” Keller warned. “The division of large enterprises into smaller stations, and their ability to feed specific towns, will tie all the small and medium networks together and later – it’s a different architecture in the design of the network, but the trend will certainly be more in the region.”
A report on the solar energy forecast 2018 launched by the Middle East Solar Industry Association was released at the Middle East Electricity Show. A report released yesterday said the market in the UAE alone will reach 60-70 MW in 2018 – a three-fold annual growth rate compared to with 20 megawatts achieved by the market in December.
“At the moment, I do not think the market for solar panels in the UAE has been exploited even by 1 per cent,” said Alok Srivastava, general manager of project development at Utico, the UAE’s utility services provider. In recognition of the importance of solar power generation across surfaces, and in support of this approach, OTC Solar Solar, a solar panel development program, has been launched on rooftops.
“We are currently producing 20,000 units of robot cleaning per year, and our goal is to boost our sales in the Middle East to 20 per cent in 2019,” said Vincent Liu, international sales manager at Sol Bright.
With a sales network covering five continents, Liu revealed that the Middle East is the company’s key growth market. “We already have operational units in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and we are now negotiating large projects in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. There is great potential for direct sales to both government agencies and engineering contractors. “