Dr Steve Griffiths
UAE 'can deploy 20GW of solar power capacity'
Abu Dhabi, May 29, 2013
UAE could economically deploy solar power generation capacity of more than 20GW by 2030, if proper policy frameworks and regulations are implemented, according to an expert.
Dr Steve Griffiths, executive director, Institute Initiatives, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and board member, Emirates Solar Industry Association (Esia), who spoke at the 5th Middle East & North Africa Solar Conference & Expo (Menasol 2013) held in Dubai recently, indicated that by 2017, the Mena region may require more than 120GW in new generation capacity at a total cost of over $250 billion in order to meet the rapid growth in regional electricity demand.
He added that sustainable energy is economically viable but can only be implemented if robust supply-side and demand-side policies are implemented to stimulate deployment.
A panel of experts analyzed the prospects of concentrated solar power (CSP), photovoltaics (PV), and concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) in the UAE and the broader Mena region, at the conference. Nearly 300 delegates attended the event.
Dr Griffiths said: “A sustainable energy strategy considering both demand and supply side considerations will be required for the Mena region. Clean energy including natural gas, nuclear and renewables will play an important role in sustainable supply. However, there is significant but unrealized opportunity for solar. The UAE and other Gulf countries have solar insolation levels that far exceed levels found in European countries, such as Germany, that already have achieved substantial solar deployment.
“However, there is a strong need to translate technical potentials to economic benefits to guide solar energy policy development that will stimulate solar energy technology deployment. This may call for site-specific, long-term data with high spatial resolution, adjusted for local climate conditions. The UAE Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCrema) at Masdar Institutecan offer guidance in this area.”
Both photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) offer advantages but a mix of both technologies that accounts for their different attributes can bring maximum benefits, according to industry experts. - TradeArabia News Service