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GCC booming market for solar power

Region poised to become a hub for solar energy with $155 billion worth of projects set to be complete by 2017

Gulf News

Dubai: The six GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries have sanctioned $155 billion (Dh596 billion) worth of solar power projects that will generate 84 gigawatts when completed in 2017, according to the region’s first dedicated solar technology exhibition Gulf Sol 2013.

Derek Burston, Director of UK-based Bowmedia, organisers of Gulf Sol 2013, said in a statement the GCC countries had demonstrated their keenness to shift towards low-cost solar energy.

A reduction in costs of solar technologies coupled with rising electricity demand could make the region a hub for solar expansion, he added.

Marc Norman, Director of Emirates Solar Industries Association, said the high cost of petrol was making the switch to solar energy increasingly attractive.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) can be used in the oil extraction process by producing and pumping steam into oil reserves.

Norman said that the region would become an attractive market for Chinese companies that are stuck in regulation and trade battles in the US and EU.

However, stability in the region remains an issue for the solar industry.

Farhad Ghafourian, of UAE Container Glass Association, said the raw sand materials used to produce solar photovoltaic (pv) glass are sourced from Egypt.

The Gulf Sol 2013 and Gulf Glass 2013 exhibitions will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from September 3 to 5.