The 1st dedicated exhibition for the PV and solar industries of the MENA region
3–5 September 2013
3–5 September 2013
With the latest UN climate change having taken place in the Qatari capital of Doha in the last week, attention has been focused on how the oil and gas-rich Gulf States are responding to climate change.
So it was perhaps unsurprising that Saudia Arabia chose the occasion to confirm it is on track to start work on its first major solar farm early next year, as part of ambitious plans that could see the world’s largest oil exporter generate a third of its electricity from the sun within 20 years.
Khalid al-Suliman, vice president at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, told the state-owned Saudi Press Agency that work on the country’s first solar farm is poised to start as soon as the government signs off on his department’s high profile renewable energy strategy.
He added the project was on track to begin feeding electricity into the grid by 2015 and will mark the first step on the government’s path towards delivering 41GW of solar capacity by 2032, through a combination of solar PV and solar thermal technologies.
Saudi Arabia announced this year that it is to become the latest Gulf state to adopt a wide-ranging solar strategy, outlining plans to invest $109bn over the next 20 years in order to take advantage of its excellent solar resources and diversify its energy mix. Its stance echoes that of several countries in the region, including Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, all of which have recently unveiled new plans for accelerating investment in renewable energy.
“Saudi Arabia’s ambitious solar plans are one of the keystones for the wider success of the solar industry in the MENA region” says Nick Thomson, exhibition director GulfSol 2013 (www.gulfsol.com)
“It is reasons such as this that next year’s inaugural GulfSol event – which takes place from 3-5 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre – has attracted such an excited audience, as the first dedicated solar and PV event to be held in the region.”