Intersolar Middle East

September 26-27, 2017
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Industry News

1st stage of 300MW solar tender launched in Saudi Arabia

February 22, 2017 - The tender process is being managed by the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO), a new established body of the ministry of energy, industry and mineral resources. The switch to an independent power producer (IPP) model could mark a turning point in the country's energy policy. The deadline for applications is March 20, 2017.
www.pv-tech.org

Saudi Arabia: Billions for Renewables

January 16, 2017 - Saudi Arabia plans to start a “massive” renewable-energy program costing US $30 billion to US $50 billion according to Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. The world’s largest oil producer wants to increase its share of renewables in the electricity mix by 2023: Close to 10 gigawatts from renewables, primarily solar and wind power, are planned.
www.bloomberg.com

World's cheapest solar power contract signed for Dubai mega-project

November 30, 2016 - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen some of the lowest-price solar power contracts in the world, which has led to a combination of disbelief and scepticism. However, on November 29, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed a US$29.90/MWh PPA with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) for the 800 MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park.
www.pv-magazine.com

All eyes on Morocco – If they can do it, all MENA countries can do it

November 17, 2016 - Around 15% of Morocco’s electricity generation is supplied by renewables. The 22nd COP host’s energy policy involves a strong legal framework, the reformation of subsidies and building institutions that drive forward a sustainable energy future. Morocco has also introduced an energy efficiency plan aimed at reducing energy consumption by 12% by 2020.
www.huffingtonpost.com

What Is Driving the Middle East Solar Market?

July 6, 2016 -  In a recent auction to build the world's largest solar PV power plant, Masdar entered a bid for US $.0299 per kWh, which would be the lowest price ever paid for solar power. With regard to solar project development PPA prices, normally, it is local deployment over time that gradually gets solar prices down. But the Middle East has only just begun to deploy solar. So what is behind Masdar's bid for Phase III of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai - at the world's-lowest-ever 2.99 US cents?
www.renewableenergyworld.com

Masdar selected by DEWA to lead consortium on 800 MW solar PV project in Dubai

June 27, 2016 - The Abu Dhabi clean energy firm to partner with Spain's GranSolar and Saudi-owned Fotowatio Renewable Ventures to develop phase three of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum PV plant. Read more here

Saudi Arabia seeks international investors for two solar plants

June 12, 2016 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is seeking international investors to build two solar power plants, using a deal structure that could become a model for the kingdom's infrastructure projects as low oil prices pressure the government's finances. State-owned utility Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) said at the weekend that it was inviting expressions of interest from companies or consortiums around the world in building two solar plants at Al-Jouf and Rafha in the north of the country. Read more here.

Kingdom plans to produce 54GW power from renewable energy sources by 2040

Riyadh, June 8, 2016  - Saudi Arabia plans to produce 54 gigawatt (GW) of electricity from renewable energy sources, notably solar energy, by 2040, local media said quoting a United Nations report. Some 41GW of electricity will be generated from solar energy (25GW of CSP and 16GW of PV) while the remaining 13GW will come from other sources such as geothermal, waste and wind power, the report said. The 250-page report was issued by an agency affiliated with the United Nations Environment Program. Read more here.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approves DEWA's solar activities programme for the UAE

Dubai, June 16, 2016 - The UAE's solar power programme, the UAE Solar Programme of Activities (PoA), has been approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Board. The PoA was initiated by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) in collaboration with Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (Dubai Carbon) to promote the development of solar power in the UAE and make it easier to register projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM Executive Board has approved the request for registration, and the PoA will be registered as a CDM PoA after taking into consideration comments and suggestions received through public consultations up to 5 July 2016.Read more here.

Intersolar launches Young Leaders’ Innovation Challenge

February 2016 - Intersolar Middle East is organising a competition for students to showcase their views on sustainability and retrofitting. Young Leaders’ Innovation Challenge will involve choosing a government building and retrofitting renewable components to achieve at least 25 per cent reduction in the energy consumed. Universities from around the UAE have shown positive response and have been enthusiastic to participate. Read More Here

Solar energy: The economic revolution

January 16, 2016 - Policymakers, investors and the public increasingly recognise that we are in the midst of an energy transition and solar energy has reached the prognosticated tipping point In just over a decade, solar energy has evolved from being relegated to highly specialised applications that justified the high cost, or heavily subsidised programmes entirely dependent on continuing policy support from governments; to increasingly capturing a large share of the total power generation market on the strength of econ-omics alone.At the end of 2015, the unsubsidised Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of utility-scale thin film solar stood in the range of $0.05 (Dh0.18) to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour, which was lower than any conventional generation technology operating without the benefit of subsidised fuel.The UAE, of course, played an important role in influencing these record low prices thanks to a groundbreaking tariff of $0.058, bid by ACWA Power and TSK using high performance First Solar modules, for the second phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. What is it that has changed over the last ten years that has earned solar power the recognition of being a reliable and affordable energy resource? Read the full articel yy James A. Hughes at Gulf News

UAE’s desert sand can be used to store solar energy

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Researchers working at Masdar Institute have discovered that the UAE’s desert sand can be used in concentrated solar power facilities to store solar energy, making it a viable and cost effective alternative to the current materials being used. Naming the project Sandstock, the scientists carried out a number of tests using X-ray devices to analyse and study the chemical make up of the sand, with the results showing the sand contained quartz and carbonate materials, the right compositions needed for thermal storage. The research also revealed that the sand could store solar energy up to 1000°C, making it a more efficient material as it can absorb energy at such high temperatures. Dr Nicholas Calvet, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, who oversaw the research and development of the project, said the findings would be a major benefit for the UAE’s sustainable energy solutions“The availability of this material in desert environments such as the UAE allows for significant cost reductions in novel concentrated solar power plants, which may use it both as thermal energy storage material and solar absorber,” he said. Read More Here

Inspiring story: France to pave 1,000km of road with solar panels

The minister told a conference of transport authorities last week that the tenders for the “Positive Energy” initiative had already been issued and the tests on the panels would begin in the spring. According to France’s Agency of Environment and Energy Management, 4m of solarised road is enough to supply one household’s electricity needs, apart from heating, and one kilometre will light a settlement with 5,000 inhabitants. So the maximum effect of the programme, if successful, could be to furnish 5 million people with electricity, or about 8% of the French population. The solarising of France’s roads involves glueing 7mm-thick strips to the surface of the carriageway. The basic technology for this has already been developed by Bouygues subsidiary Colas. The company’s Wattway panels (pictured above), which took five years to develop, were unveiled in October. Read More Here

China, Iran agree two nuclear power stations and trade worth $600bn

The deal, which is reported to be worth $10bn, was finalised during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran last weekend, during which the two countries set a target of $600bn for their trade volume in 2026, a ten-fold increase on the present level. Xi was accompanied by the Xu Dazhe, the director of China’s Atomic Energy Authority. Salehi said the nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and China on 23 January, also included the modernisation of the Arak heavy water reactor and the construction of a number of 100MW power plants. President Xi said nuclear cooperation between Tehran and Beijing would include cooperation over nuclear research. All nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were lifted on 16 January – or Implementation Day, as it was called.Read More Here

Why the Saudis Are Going Solar

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al Saud belongs to the family that rules Saudi Arabia. He wears a white thawb and ghutra, the traditional robe and headdress of Arab men, and he has a cavernous office hung with portraits of three Saudi royals. When I visited him in Riyadh this spring, a waiter poured tea and subordinates took notes as Turki spoke. Everything about the man seemed to suggest Western notions of a complacent functionary in a complacent, oil-rich kingdom. But Turki doesn’t fit the stereotype, and neither does his country. Quietly, the prince is helping Saudi Arabia—the quintessential petrostate—prepare to make what could be one of the world’s biggest investments in solar power. Near Riyadh, the government is preparing to build a commercial-scale solar-panel factory. On the Persian Gulf coast, another factory is about to begin producing large quantities of polysilicon, a material used to make solar cells. And next year, the two state-owned companies that control the energy sector—Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, and the Saudi Electricity Company, the kingdom’s main power producer—plan to jointly break ground on about 10 solar projects around the country. Read More Here