Want to Solar Power the Middle East? Attend the 2nd Annual MENASOL Solar Conference in Cairo

Want to accelerate your solar idea and move more developments into the Middle East? The MENASOL conference in Cairo’s gathering a critical mass of opinion leaders, experts and financing personnel this May.

In a part of the world where it can take centuries for there to be something new under the sun, Cairo will be home to the 2nd annual North Africa and Middle East Solar Conference this May 4 to 5. Hosted by New Solar Today based in the UK, participants will learn how to break into the emerging solar market in the Middle East.

Want to learn how to finance your ideas and build utility scale solar projects in North Africa and Middle East? This could be your event. According to Heidi Hafes from New Solar Today/FC Business Intelligence in the UK, this is the opportunity of the year to meet the decision makers responsible for blueprinting solar projects in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, and to gain insight on how to take advantage of the solar project opportunities across North Africa and Middle East. We’ve interviewed Heidi all about the event (see over the fold).

Hot topics being discussed at the event this year include: What is the present state for solar in MENA? Where are the opportunities for solar projects in 2010? How will governments and utilities engage with solar? How to finance your next project? Heidi says answers to these questions and more will be given through a selection of high-level presentations, panel debates and roundtables, with representation from key ministry’s and national agencies.

heidi hafes new solar todayQ: About Heidi and New Solar Today
Heidi recently joined New Solar Today after graduating in Law in 2007. Before joining the team, she spent 6 months working in Beijing during the Olympic Games, as well as producing events for a NGO organization in the UK. Heidi is a keen traveller looking for the next adventure, and in her spare time she likes to hunt for the best places to eat, shop and socialize in London.

New Solar Today, part of FC Business Intelligence, held the first MENA Solar Summit specific to meet the region’s challenges in June 2009 in Abu Dhabi. New Solar Today is the reference point for solar industry professionals and a cornerstone for communications within the industry. In addition to events we provide industry focused newsletters, reports, updates and information for the Solar Power industry, including Concentrated Solar Thermal Power, Concentrated Photovoltaics, Thin Film Solar, Organic Photovoltaics and other promising solar technologies of the future. We currently operate in the US, Europe, Middle East and Far East regions. Feel free to check out our news portals for more information: www.csptoday.com, www.cpvtoday.com, www.thinfilmtoday.com www.newsolartoday.com

Q: What is your company’s role in the upcoming Egypt Solar Summit event?
A: I am the research and events director for the event. I have spent several months talking with 60-70 companies involved in different aspects of the solar industry to discuss the opportunies and challenges they face in the industry. I tailor make an agenda that reflects the voice of the industry and handpick only the top level speakers to address the industry’s concerns

Q: Why was the event moved to Egypt this year?
A: Following my research it is apparent that there is high solar activity in North Africa, and with many of the international and regional headquarters being based in Cairo, it appeared to be at the heart of the North African market. Egypt is home of the Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power Plant (ISCC) Located 87 km South of Cairo, The ISCC Kuraymat is a first of its kind construction of a combined cycle power plant with solar generated steam input, and we have organized an exclusive site visit to the plant.

Q: How many people are expected to visit (from where)?
A: We expect around 250 people across North Africa and Middle East region as well as Europe and US which are big solar markets. In attendance there will be a mix of project developers, investors, solar technology developers, and solar manufactures.

They will be mixing with the great speaker line up that are policy makers, regulators, utilities and international and national organizations that are pushing the solar agenda up on the political schedule such as United Nations, Desertec, Mediterranean Solar Plan, and the World Bank.

Q: How could someone from the Middle East benefit by attending this event? Will it give them exposure to new markets, new innovation, new channels of marketing?
A: Ultimately they will find out how to finance, develop and build utility scale solar projects in North Africa and Middle East.

They will get:

• SOLAR TARGETS COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY – gain exclusive insight into the government mandated targets to develop utility scale solar plants that are driving growth in various territories
• BEST STRATEGIES TO SECURE SOLAR FINANCE – hear directly from the top international organisations and expert private investors on how to gain the funding you need to develop your next solar project
• TERRITORY SPECIFIC SOLAR TECHNOLOGY CHOICES – benefit from a comprehensive guide on what technology is best suited for each country, enabling you to make the most profitable choices for your plant
• WHAT UTILITIES WANT FROM SOLAR – find out directly from utility companies how they plan to work with solar technology and get the insider knowledge that will help you develop long-term partnerships with them
• SOLAR PROJECTS UPDATE – uncover practical tips and advice by hearing real life lessons from up and running plants and hear about the latest upcoming projects that can present new opportunities for your business and
• SOLAR DESALINATION POTENTIAL IN MENA – prepare your business for the next big solar advancement in the MENA region and find out exactly what you need to know to make the most of this growth opportunity

Q: Please explain how smaller, more focused events give better networking value to attendees? Can anyone attend or is invite only?
Anyone can attend the event, but they need to register for the event and select which pass they prefer. We have a special rate for NGO’s and Academics.

Focused events such as MENASOL 2010 attracts senior level executives that are serious about doing business in the region and are looking to create new business relationships. Within this intimate setting, everyone literally gets to meet everyone…especially over the 2 days with extended lunch and coffee breaks, networking drinks, workshops and the site visit – it means that quality time with the people you want to meet is definatley going to happen. As I really value the importance of the networking which is truer in MENA…and have an online networking tool for pre and post the event to arrange meetings, and to keep the relationships going.

Q. In terms of networking value, the most high profile guests or speakers that will attend?
Minsitries of Energy and Renewable Energy Agencies from: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, EU Commission and more countries are coming on board!

Anhar Hegazi, Director Sustainable Development and Productivity Division, UN ESCWA
Jamila Matar, Ministry of Energy, League Of Arab States
Chandrasekar Govindarajalu, Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank
Philippe Lorec, Direction Generale de l’Energie et du Climat, Mediterranean Solar Plan
Oliver Steinmetz, Member of the Supervisory Board & Co-Founder at DESERTEC Foundation, DESERTEC
Daniel Calderon, Investment Manager, Masdar

Top project developers
Tamer Shafik, Deputy Commercial Director, Orascom
Michael Geyer, Director International Business Development, Abengoa Solar
Jose Manuel Nieto, Thermoelectric Projects & Construction Director, Acciona

Not to mention the local and regional banks/investors as well as country specific utilty companies talking about how they plan to work with solar in the near future!

Q: Any focus on any specific sectors in solar energy to be profiled?
Concentrated Solar Power
Concentrated Photovoltaic
Thin Film

::MENASOL conference website

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