The Middle East Solar Association (MESIA) sees a pipeline of more than 5.7 gigawatts (GW) of upcoming solar projects throughout the MENA region.
“At MESIA, we are excited to see solar developments in the region going into fast-forward at attractive tariffs and lowering the carbon footprint of the regional economies,” said Wim Alen, Secretary General of MESIA.
World record tariffs provided solar with an important jump-start
2016 was a record-breaking year for solar in the Middle East. Record low tariffs below USD 0.03 per kWh attracted worldwide press attention and even more in September 2016 when price went below USD 0.0245 per kWh.
The world record tariffs provided solar with an important jump-start of more large scale solar projects in the Middle East in 2016 (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan) and will drive even more large-scale project announcements and executions in 2017 in other countries (e.g. Oman and Tunisia).
2017 solar PV pipeline exceeds 4 GW
In UAE, 2016 saw Phase III awarded (Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park) with 800 MW for delivery over three phases until 2020 at USD 0.0299 per kWh. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has tendered out a minimum 350 MW Sweihan solar power plant.
In Saudi, SEC is currently tendering a 100 MW PV project across two sites in the northern region of the Kingdom while in Oman, the RFP for first utility scale PV projects is expected to be launched by the tendering authority by mid-2017. The project size will be around 200 MW.
Pakistan is seeing the construction of the second phase of the project Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (QASP) in Punjab – installing 300 MW. More data are available in the MESIA Annual Solar Outlook Report.
MESIA’s Annual Solar Outlook Report is also addressing the rooftop solar projects in the MENA region. Rooftop solar kicked off in the UAE with approximately 6 MW up and running by the end of 2016. It is expected the rooftop market in the UAE could reach 70 MW in 2017. This would mean more than tenfold growth in a 1-year period.
The report also elaborates on the storage and demand response solutions which provide additional flexibility to the transmission system and allow to curb peak load.