MENA region to go through a $2.7 bn solar boom in 2015

photo thenational

In next 12 months, the MENA region will secure solar project deals worth $2.7 billion total cost.

The Middle East and North Africa will launch solar projects having 1800 MW capacity, reports Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).

The figure denotes a six-fold increase from last year, which recorded around 300MW of established solar projects.

In 2015, solar energy is predicted to become broadly accepted power resource in MENA region, penetrating to at least 11 different countries including Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

It is anticipated that the Noor-Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project coming up in Morocco alone can supply power to 1.1 million consumers by 2018.

photo thenational
photo thenational

Recently, Solar Frontier completed the 1 MW CPV plant at the Nofa Equestrian Resort, Riyadh.

Saudi Aramco’s KAPSARC II solar plant project extension from 3.5 MW to 5.3 MW is under process.

Dubai government-owned utility plans to double the size of a solar power project from 100MW to 200MW by increasing the production capacity of the second phase of the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum SolarPark.

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In 2013, there were only three projects awarded larger than 10MW, but it had hit 40 this year, each worth at least $60 million and reaching up to $100 million.

With further growth guaranteed in solar market, related segments such as rooftop solar are also picking momentum.

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The falling costs of setting up solar energy plants and the rising costs of generating power through natural gas are prime factors that drive the growth of solar energy market.

The price of solar systems has dropped by 75 per cent over the last six years, says MESIA.

MESIA is the largest solar trade association in the MENA region that represents over 120 organizations, with headquarters in Dubai.

Sabeena Wahid