A trend towards generating electricity from solar power is on the horizon for the countries of the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa)
Munich, 05 June 2013 – The regional market for photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal power plants is expected to reach 3.5 GW by 2015. While Saudi Arabia and Turkey are tipped to be the largest investors in PV and solar thermal installations, Egypt and Morocco are also starting to think differently with a move away from fossil fuels and towards solar energy. From June 19–21 at Messe München, Intersolar Europe takes an in-depth look at how the energy policy in this region is changing. In addition, different exhibition and conference events shed light on the prospects for the international solar industry.
The solar industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is geared up for growth: By 2015, the regional market for photovoltaics and solar thermal power plants is expected to grow to a total output of 3.5 gigawatts (GW). Saudi Arabia in particular is planning to move away from generating electricity using crude oil in favor of photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies. A study conducted by GTM Research, Boston, USA, puts this development down to high solar irradiation and rising electricity prices and requirements that arise from an increasing population size. By 2017, the expansion of solar energy is expected to exceed a combined output of 10 GW in the MENA region. With a share of 70%, the majority is set to be implemented in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Sunny prospects for solar energy in North Africa
The sun also ranks among the most valuable resources in North African countries. Egypt benefitted from crude oil exports in the 1990s; however, current reductions in yields produced by oil fields and increasing energy subsidies are forcing the Egyptian government to take action. In the financial year 2012/2013, subsidies reportedly account for a quarter of the entire Egyptian state budget. As the largest energy resource in the country, the sun offers an ideal alternative to dwindling oil and gas. Every year, each square meter in Egypt receives more than 2,200 kilowatt hours of solar energy. The Egyptian Solar Energy Development Association (SEDA) in Cairo sees potential application areas for solar energy in the form of solar installations for producing drinking water and intelligent lighting concepts for hotels. In addition to concentrating on tourism, statements from the Egyptian Ministry of Housing reveal that, over the next few years, standard measures will see public housing equipped with solar installations.
In Morocco, solar plants with a combined output of 2 GW are set to be installed by 2020, which means that the share of renewable energy in the Moroccan power grid could reach a total of 42%. Alongside solar energy, wind energy and hydropower are also expected to form part of this share. Under the supervision of MASEN (Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy), the construction of a large, impressive project has already begun in the Moroccan province of Ouarzazate, which will be the world’s largest solar thermal power plant. A capacity of 160 megawatts (MW) will be installed in the initial expansion phase alone. Once completed, the power plant will reach an output of 500 MW.
Intersolar Europe 2013 focuses on the solar market in the MENA region
This year sees Intersolar Europe offer several events shedding light on development in the countries of the MENA region. Like last year, Morocco will be represented at the exhibition with its own country pavilion. In addition to promoting interdisciplinary exchange with the countries of that region, various country delegations with high ranking political members allow businesses and visitors to increase their personal contacts. Under the title Global PV Markets: MENA Region, prominent representatives from local industry associations and government institutions speak about current conditions, market developments and prospects for the solar industry in these countries at the Intersolar Europe Conference on June 19, 2013.
In February this year, the PV Briefing & Networking Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, highlighted the solar industry’s great interest in the regional energy policy’s new direction. Under the motto “Saudi Arabia targets 41 GW of solar by 2032 – what does this mean today?”, 15 representatives from politics, research and the solar industry discussed the future of solar energy in the region in front of an audience of around 180 attendees. The event was organized by Intersolar Europe and EuPD Research (Bonn) in collaboration with the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as the local partner.
Intersolar Europe 2013 takes place from June 19–21 at Messe München.
Further information on Intersolar Europe can be found at www.intersolar.de
Partners of Intersolar Europe
Intersolar Europe is supported by the leading solar industry associations: the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) as an exclusive partner, the German Solar Energy Society (DGS), the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), the SEMI PV Group, and VDMA-PV, the platform for photovoltaic production equipment within the German Engineering Association. With the support of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).
With around 3,000 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners. It unites people and companies from around the world with the aim of increasing the share of solar power in our energy supply.
Intersolar Europe takes place annually at Messe München. It is the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. In 2012, 1,909 international exhibitors and 66,000 trade visitors attended Intersolar Europe. The exhibition focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage and solar thermal technologies. Since its founding, it has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry. The accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference consolidates the topics of the exhibition. In 2012, more than 400 speakers and around 2,000 attendees discussed current industry topics and shed light on the background of technological, market and political developments.
Intersolar’s storied history of international exhibitions and conferences spans more than 20 years. In 2008, Intersolar North America in San Francisco became the second exhibition after Intersolar Europe. This was followed by Intersolar India in Mumbai, Intersolar China in Beijing and Intersolar South America in São Paulo.
Intersolar Europe is organized by Solar Promotion GmbH, Pforzheim and Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG.