Middle East set to welcome $6.8bn solar projects

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Projects worth a combined $6.8bn (AED25bn) will boost solar power in the Middle East, claims the chairman of the inaugural Solar Middle East Conference, which opens in Dubai on 17 February.

The ten projects, based in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, have attracted a lot of interest from investors according to Jigar Shah, who is also the partner of clean energy investment company Inerjys.

“Everyone is desperate to invest in the Middle East solar industry, they are all just waiting for clear instructions from the governments in the region,” he told Trade Arabia.

“The economics of switching to solar energy are far better here than in South Africa, India, Brazil, China and the US. Now that the costs of developing solar technologies have significantly declined, it is time for the Middle East to turn talk into action.”

Solar technology experts are expected to use the three day conference to urge governments to up their efforts to put in place policies which will allow solar companies to harness the year-round sunshine in the region.

At the end of 2012, Qatar announced it would ask firms to tender for a 1,800 megawatt solar energy plant in 2014, looking at a cost of between $10-20bn (AED37-73.5bn).

The kingdom is among other countries in the region looking to increase its renewable energy production, moving away from reliance on oil and gas.

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