Middle East solar markets could hit 3.5GW by 2015

Saudi Arabia and Turkey could lead the solar market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the prediction of hitting nearly 3.5GW by 2015. That’s according to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Saudi Arabia and Turkey could lead the solar market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the prediction of hitting nearly 3.5GW by 2015.

That’s according to a study by GTM Research in collaboration with the Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA), which forecasted the annual solar market in MENA countries could represent 8% of total demand globally by 2015.

It claims the MENA region has the “greatest technical potential” for renewable energy in the world, mostly in solar. The potential is believed to be driven by rapidly increasing energy usage, a young and empowered workforce and an increasing awareness of the costs of burning natural resources.

Scott Burger, GTM Research analyst and the report’s author said: “In terms of solar energy, it is clear that the MENA region is set to experience significant change over the next five years. While Saudi Arabia will likely be the largest market in the long term, there will be significant opportunities throughout the region. With strategic planning and a solid development of local partners and supply chains, savvy companies will be able to capitalise on all of the opportunities in the region.”

Qatar has plans to install 1.8GW of PV capacity by 2014, Dubai aims to source 5% of its power supply from solar by 2030 and Abu Dhabi is commissioning a 100MW solar power plant. Saudi Arabia has also announced a renewable energy strategy which includes 16GW of PV facilities by 2030.