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Middle East North Africa Solar Market Expected to Grow to 3.5 Gigawatts by 2015

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) solar energy sector is gearing up for significant growth with the regional market for photovoltaics and solar thermal power plants expected to reach 3.5 gigawatts by 2015, an expert has said today.

Anita Mathews, Director of Informa Energy Group cited the Middle East and North Africa Outlook 2013-2017 Report published by US-based Greentech Media (GTM) Research, which forecasts that solar energy is expected to exceed a combined output of 10 GW in the region by 2017.

A result of high solar irradiation, rising electricity prices and an increasing population throughout the region, Mathews said that the booming solar landscape will further strengthen the role of the second edition of Solar Middle East, taking place from 11-13 February 2014 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

Organised by Informa Energy Group and running alongside the world’s leading power event, Middle East Electricity, Solar Middle East provides the ideal meeting place for solar industry professionals from across the globe.

The three-day event will bring together a notable line-up of exhibitors from all over the world to showcase their products to an audience of key decision makers from across the region.

Mathews said: “The MENA renewable energy market is expanding rapidly with a diverse range of countries announcing projects to exploit the region’s abundant wealth of energy resources for economic growth and energy expansion.

“As of April 2013, there were 106 renewable energy projects in the pipeline in the region, totaling over 7.5 gigawatts of new electric generation capacity. This is in addition to 10 major projects set to go ahead in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.”

Mathews added that the majority of demand for solar energy will originate in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with the latter leading the way towards the region’s first gigawatt scale solar market by 2015.

Commenting on investments in the MENA renewable energy sector, Mathews said: “This region is one of the few in the world where renewable energy investment seems to be weathering with new investments totaling US$ 2.9 billion in 2012, an increase of almost 40 per cent over 2011.

“An increasing number of countries in the Middle East are keen to invest in the region’s thriving solar industry and with renewable energy sources in abundance – particularly solar power – the region is gradually tapping these resources to pave the way for a new market.”

Solar Middle East will feature a dedicated industry conference, addressing key challenges that the Middle East region faces regarding harnessing the infinite resource and integrating it into regional power grids.

The exhibition and conference is officially supported by the Dubai Municipality, Enpark, Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA), Environmental Center for Arab Towns, Global Solar Alliance, The Energy Institute (EI), Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC), Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), TAITRA and Society of Engineers – UAE.

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