African MENA countries to proceed with 1.8 GW of PV projects in 2015

Solar projects with a combined capacity of 1,800 MW will be tendered or awarded in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2015, the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) projects.

For comparison, less than 300 MW were awarded in 2014. The market expansion is helped by the decline in solar system prices and the rising cost of natural gas power, MESIA explained in its “MENA Solar Outlook 2015”.

The expected 1,800 MW in countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among others, would translate into a total investment of some USD 2.7 billion (EUR 2.3bn), the organisation calculates.

According to MESIA president, Vahid Fotuhi, solar energy will be the more economically attractive option for electricity generation as long as oil prices are above USD 20 per barrel. Solar power allows MENA to keep oil for “more valuable purposes” such as transport fuels, he said.

In the MENA region at least 11 countries will have solar projects this year, while in the past, activities were focus on one or two markets only. MESIA also expects to see an entire industry emerge focused on rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity.

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