„Exciting time for solar power in the Middle East“

8/30/17, 2:00 PM -

The MENA region is getting a hotspot for solar Tina Engelhard, General Manager at Solar Promotion International says. Countries like Dubai or United Arab Emirates offer good investments opportunities for European companies. Intersolar Middle East (September 26-27, Dubai) provides promising networking possibilities.

Tina Engelhard, General Manager at Solar Promotion International, organizer of Intersolar Middle East, September 26-27 2017, Dubai.
Tina Engelhard, General Manager at Solar Promotion International, organizer of Intersolar Middle East, September 26-27 2017, Dubai.

pv Europe: Is the Middle East evolving more and more to a hot spot for solar investments?

Tina Engelhard: Yes. It is a great and exciting time for solar power in the Middle East! A wave of solar projects are already underway across the region. The installed solar capacity of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.is expected to reach 76 GW by 2020. Great opportunities are waiting for  developers, EPC contractors, equipment suppliers and financiers! The MENA region utilities are adopting more and more solar plants in the hundreds of megawatts and gigawatts. Large-scale solar is rapidly adapting in the region. Egypt for example aims for 2,650 MP of PV capacity on operation by 2020, although three years ago Egypt had only a few PV installations. Morocco is aiming for 600 MW, while Jordan has 540 MW of PV projects under construction with more expected before the end of 2017. The Middle East’s PV projects have also taken on a new scale recently, not least at the solar PV plant in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The US$872mn project is set to be world’s largest single location solar farm, with a capacity of 1,177MW.

How are the business opportunities for European and German companies in the region?

It is difficult to answer this question for all countries of the region, as each country has different requirements and opportunities. But for the UAE and Dubai, we can say that according to the Dubai Chamber, the economy enjoys a competitive combination of cost, environmental, geographical and market advantages that create an ideal and attractive business climate for local and foreign investors, including European and German companies.

Is there already a market for distributed PV?

There is definitely already a market for distributed solar. Distributed solar power generation is driven by regulations, like net metering and deployment targets, making solar mandatory for all rooftops in 2030. Lower solar prices and increasing electricity rates lead to the adoption of distributed rooftop solar this year.

What are the main focuses of this year`s Intersolar Middle East Conference? What networking opportunities do you offer?

Conference attendees will gain deep insights into the MENA solar markets, both established markets like Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE and runners up markets like Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa. Furthermore the conference will focus on PV Power Plants: utilities, rooftop, BOS and the impact of soiling, drones and robots. Further key topics will be financing solar transactions, localization of supply chain across Saudi-Arabia, the MENA energy storage market, PV Module manufacturing in Middle East region, a Dii PV project development roadmap, integration of renewable energy electricity and the MENA electric vehicle market. There will be a variety of networking opportunities, for example at the official networking evening on September 26 or at the special Afghanistan & Pakistan business matchmaking event. We look forward to welcome about 500 conference attendees at Intersolar Middle East in September.

Interviewed by Hans-Christoph Neidlein

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