5.7 GW of solar capacity to be delivered across the MENA region

Solar developments in the region going into fast-forward at attractive tariffs

© MESIA.com

MESIA remarks a rapid adoption of large-scale solar in the Middle East © MESIA.com

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 2016, MESIA witnessed the following solar drivers and trends in the MENA region (PV, CSP, and ISCC): 885 MWAC in operation, 3,610 under execution and 1,300 under tender. In 2017, above 4,050 MWAC are in the pipe for the PV sector and 1,310 MW for the CSP sector including some hybrid plant PV and CSP.

MESIA remarks a rapid adoption of large-scale solar in the Middle East: Egypt is aiming for 2,650 MW of PV capacity in operation by 2020.Morocco will have about 500 MW of CSP and 600 MW of PV in operation by 2019, while Jordan has 540 MW of PV projects under construction and is set to award 200 MW (4x50 MW) in the course of 2017.

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.

MESIA Annual Solar Outlook Report (download)