The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been the next big market for the solar sector for some time. Despite fits and starts over the past decade, recent activity has signaled that the time has finally arrived for this robust and sun soaked region to carry out its ambitious plans for solar energy generation.
Unprecedented developments in the MENA region, such as government-driven auctioning, new plans for net-metering schemes in countries like Abu Dhabi, and some of the world’s lowest tariffs are increasingly attracting new investments in and continually driving down the cost of solar energy.
There is great potential in the region for solar to account for a large share of new capacity in the region, as the fossil fuel subsidies are gradually being removed and the cost of financing projects has been falling. These developments, as well as the improving of project performance through advancements in technology have resulted in favorable economics for PV in the region.
Solar tracking systems are becoming an even more viable option in this region which experiences about 4,000 hours of sunshine per year versus say, 2,000 in other high irradiation regions like Spain. According to a recent GTM Research Global PV Tracker Landscape, Jordan, Egypt, and UAE are forecast to be the largest markets for PV tracker installations through the end of 2121. Jordan – where there are less policy risks than neighboring countries – is looking especially bright, with a target of 600 MW of solar PV capacity by 2020. The country is expected to have a higher percentage of tracking projects as factors such as soiling and wind loading are less of a concern.
Secondary solar markets, such as Morocco and Egypt as political and currency risks are always present, but these countries are seeing large utility-scale projects coming online, which is a sign that the market is trending in a positive direction.
Overall, we believe there are reasons to be highly optimistic about the future of solar and solar tracking in the MENA region.
Source: The Global PV Tracker Landscape 2016, GTM Research, October 2016
To meet the Middle East’s growing electricity needs, solar power plants are increasingly coming on line in the MENA region. NEXTracker partners with companies in the region to bring affordable, reliable and clean energy using our NX Horizon self-powered tracker.
MESIA Solar Awards 2017 on the occasion of WFES 2017 in Abu Dhabi
NEXTracker’s outstanding solar tracking solutions are enabling us to optimize our commercial solar deployments for critical commercial projects in Jordan. The technology is ideal for the desert environments so common in the Middle East. We look forward to extending our partnership with NEXTracker, as their tracking solutions are superior – and their experience and customer service is unparalleled.