The launch of the three-day Solar Middle East exhibition in Dubai reflects a strong regional focus on development of solar power facilities, with at least ten major projects worth a combined US$6.8 billion under way in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.
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The Middle East’s lead role in the growth of the solar power industry will be underlined by this new event, creating major opportunities for manufacturers and suppliers worldwide to capitalise on heavy investment by regional governments.
The UAE continues to lead the way as part of the strategy to reduce its reliance on fossil fueled power generation, spearheaded by the US$600 million Shams 1 in Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant which is expected to be completed by August 2012.
In Dubai, where the new exhibition will debut next February, the US$3.2 billion Al Maktoum Solar Park is slated to begin construction in 2014 and will reach a peak of 1,000MW production capacity upon its scheduled completion in 2030.
More planned solar power projects in the region include the US$150 million solar enhanced oil recovery (EOR) Project in Oman, which will begin construction next year, and the US$525 million 100 MW Solar Power Plant in Kom Ombo, Egypt, also set to begin construction in 2013.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has big plans for the future as it looks to attract US$109 billion in investment to create a solar industry generating a third of the nation’s electricity – the equivalent of 41 gigawatts – by 2032.
MAJOR SOLAR POWER PROJECTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST:
|Project||Country||Project value ($US)||Project completion|
|Shams 1 Solar Plant||UAE||600 million||Q4 2012|
|Kuwait Petroleum Corp SPP||Kuwait||5 million||Q3 2013|
|Solar EOR Project in Oman||Oman||150 million||Q4 2013|
|Solar Power Plant in Oman||Oman||500 million||Q3 2014|
|100 MW Solar Power Plant in Kom Ombo||Egypt||525 million||Q4 2014|
|Pilot Solar Power Plant in Dubai||UAE||30 million||Q4 2014|
|Noor 1 – Abu Dhabi||UAE||750 million||Q3 2015|
|Maan Photovoltaic Power Plant||Jordan||425 million||Q3 2015|
|Ouarzazate Solar Power Plant||Morocco||700 million||Q4 2015|
|Al Maktoum Solar Park – Dubai||UAE||3.2 billion||Q4 2030|
Source: Ventures Middle East
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