Destertec and Masdar (above) are heating up solar energy opportunities in the Middle East. Tap into this new energy at the 2nd Annual MENASOL conference, this year in Egypt. Image via Masdar website.
Green Prophet wants to remind you about MENASOL –– the major solar energy conference taking place in Cairo, Egypt this May. You can read our first interview with MENAOL’s Heidi Hafes here, and according to Heidi, the abundant sun resource in the Middle East North Africa region is now being commercialised as governments and international enterprises speedily begin to enter the multi billion dollar solar market in the region. Some are hoping they can make multi billion dollar returns. Want to know just how much the Middle East and North Africa region is heating up?
In 2009 (not including statistics from Israel), here are some solar headlines from the region:
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.
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, says Heidi, 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? For example. 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, 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 MENASOL.
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