MENA may lure USD 50bn in solar investment by 2020
Jan 21, 2014 - Solar energy in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region may attract over USD 50 billion (EUR 27bn) in investments by 2020, fuelled by the local governments’ efforts to promote renewables, says the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).
The calculation is based on 2013 prices.
The Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) Insight on Monday released its Mena Solar Energy Report 2014, published together with MESIA. The report says that the MENA region will see the commissioning of up to 37,000 MW of solar, wind and hydropower plants by 2020. Between 12,000 MW and 15,000 MW of the total are to be solar parks.
Apart from the high solar irradiation in the area, growth in the solar segment will also come as a result of government strategies to cut reliance on fossil fuels. This will lead to a radical change in the solar sector over the following seven years, boosting the region’s solar capacity to 15,000 MW by end-2020. The capacity will be equally divided between photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies.
Saudi Arabia is expected to be the solar leader in the area thanks to its plan to install 23,900 MW of renewable energy capacity by the end of the decade. Other countries with high solar potential are Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, with each of them having set ambitious solar targets of between 1,500 MW and 3,000 MW. Meanwhile, these countries will need to ensure the have in place the right regulatory frameworks and conditions to attract the needed investment, Ed James, head of MEED Insight and report author, noted.
The report reviews 14 MENA countries with combined installed power generating capacity of nearly 260,000 MW, of which only 271 MW solar as of January 2014. Altogether, renewable energy capacity in the region stands at 16,600 MW, or more than 6% of the total. Hydropower capacity stands at 15,205 MW, while wind farms are responsible for 1,129 MW.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.