The Middle East and North Africa region is about to witness a growth period in terms of solar energy investments. According to a recent report by MEED, more than $50 billion is expected to be put into projects on the ground in the region by 2020. It’s been a topic on governments’ agenda for years, yet progress has been limited until recently. Such growth opportunities are at the top of the agenda at the 2015 World Future Energy Summit. Kicking off on January 19th, the four-day event will be held as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
WFES 2015 is bringing together some of the world’s leading renewable energy players are exhibiting new technologies and solutions as well as sharing their experiences during the conference. Naturally, solar power represents the largest share of the UAE’s renewable energy investments. Until now, preference has been given to photovoltaic (PV) technology as it’s been considered as the best option for the country’s hot climate and dusty conditions. PV costs have reduced by 80 per cent since 2008 according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, while the PV solar market is forecast to grow from 20 per cent to more than 30 per cent globally by 2025.
“We have clearly turned a corner when it comes to the advancement of solar technology over the last few years,” said Mohamed Alammawi, Vice President of Sales in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Manz AG. “The UAE’s public and private sector players have been watching these developments closely, with the intention of investing in the right solutions at the right time. At WFES this year we are bringing the industry up to speed on the advantages of thin-film solar modules and our advanced production line technology.”
Manz will be introducing public and private sector players at the summit to many of those benefits with the Manz CIGSfab. The solution is a turn-key production line for CIGS thin-film modules. It can be delivered to thin-film producers and offers a credible roadmap of technology and the costs involved. With the highest level of 14.6% panel efficiency, it offers the lowest costs in its category.
These breakthrough achievements are the reason why momentum is gaining behind thin-film modules. Using the CIGSfab production line, our customers are able to produce these models to sell them, generate and benefit from electricity or achieve all three of these goals. In addition, the system also enables local job creation and promise excellent return on investment for customers with an energy pay back for power plants that is considerably shorter.
Looking at growth prospects for PV solar globally, the company expects the most investment and activity in the MENA region, China, India and the US. “Given the UAE’s rapid growth model and sustainability goals, this shift may come sooner than expected,” added Alammawi. “UAE facilities account for more than half of the solar power capacity in the GCC. The second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park has been commissioned. Meanwhile authorities are working to introduce new regulation for solar panel use. All of these exciting developments should act as a catalyst in the country’s transition to a green economy.”