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MENA ready for massive solar roll-out in 2018, pipeline nears 12 GW

Photovoltaic power plant in Morocco. Photo by Isofoton.es, CC BY 3.0

March 9 (Renewables Now) - In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region 2018 is expected to be the year for massive roll-out of solar energy, says the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).

According to MESIA’s Annual Solar Outlook Report 2018, the photovoltaic (PV) project pipeline in 2018 amounts to 11.86 GW. There are also 4.9 GW of large solar projects under construction, including 1.8 GW in Egypt and nearly a gigawatt combined in Jordan and Morocco. Projects bigger than 10 MW with a combined capacity of 1.14 GW have been awarded or are under tender.

MENA’s operational large-scale solar capacity has reached 1.36 GW, led by Jordan with 467 MW, Algeria with 353 MW and the UAE with 323 MW.

The table below contains details on solar projects in the pipeline.

Project Capacity (in MW) Status Country
Bahrain PV 200 Announced Bahrain
Solar IPP (West Nile) 600 Prequalification Egypt
Solar IPP (Kom Ombo) 200 Bid stage Egypt
Round 3 200 Bid stage Jordan
Risha PV 50 Financial Close Jordan
Water Authority Jordan 30 Prequalification Jordan
KNPC 1,000 Bid stage Kuwait
Noor Midelt 800 Bid stage Morocco
Ibri 500 Prequalification Oman
PDO 100 Prequalification Oman
Qatar PV 200 Announced Qatar
Multiple sites 6,400 Announced Saudi Arabia
Tunisia PV 70 Bid stage Tunisia
Tozeur PV 10 Bid stage Tunisia
Sweihan II 1,200 Announced UAE
DEWA Phase V 300 Announced UAE

The 2018 pipeline also includes concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in Egypt (350 MW), Lebanon (50 MW), and Morocco (800 MW). The latter is in the bid stage and the others have been announced.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to lead the solar industry with more tenders planned.

MESIA pointed out that, in addition to large-scale solar, commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop solar has started to show growth trends across the region. Jordan, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE are all at different stages of developing regulatory frameworks for the sector. They all target “meaningful megawatts” of rooftop solar in 2018 and 2019.

The association also expects further adoption of energy storage solutions, such as batteries and pumped-storage hydro, in the Middle East, and more electric vehicles (EVS).

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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