Following the COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015, the MENA countries kick-started their part of the Agreements, otherwise known as their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs). Meanwhile, all renewable energy related hardware costs dropping as pushed by ever increasing advances in technology, most of these countries embarked on development programs mainly in the solar power sector. These programs have started to be concretised and are now showing in the diverse landscapes as the 2016 crop of Solar Power plants from Morocco to Oman.
A MENA region focused organisation (MESIA) specialising in renewable energy produced a report titled Middle East Solar Outlook 2016 in which it reviews all countries that had substantial realisations to date whether on the ground or still on the drawing board.
The specialist website Renewables Now has reviewed the MESIA report and published its views on it on February 17, 2017. Here are some excerpts.
Solar power in Algeria Source: russavia on flickr.com (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had 885 MW of operational solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal (CSP) parks at the end of 2016, and there are now about 5 GW of projects in the pipeline, according to the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).
A bit over 3.6 GW of projects are under execution, with Egypt leading the list with 1.5 GW. MESIA expects financial close for Egyptian projects this year.
Details on several tenders for solar capacity are expected soon. MESIA said the bid submission date for Dubai’s 200-MW concentrated solar power project is to be scheduled in May. The award and closing of the auction is seen to take place in the second half of the year. Saudi Arabia is expected to tender 300 MW later in 2017 and Oman is to issue a request for proposal (RfP) in mid-year for a PV project of around 200 MW.
Solar tenders or plans for such have also been announced in Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Iran.
The table shows the operational capacity and under execution projects at the end of 2016. All figures comes from MESIA’s annual report and all are in megawatts (MW).
“2017 looks like a promising and busy year for those active in the solar industry.”MESIA expects this year to see further adoption of batteries, pumped-hydro and other energy storage technologies across the region.