The Middle East to realise CPV’s potential

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With Soitec’s Plug and Sun CPV system deployed in Saudi Arabia and with a strong push for solar in the region, the slow but promising growth of Concentrated Photovoltaics underlines the importance of government support to nurture and grow CPV.

Of all the countries in the region Saudi Arabia may have the strongest business case for CPV. Not only does national body K.A CARE’s have its own CPV specialist, it is highly active in encouraging CPV companies to the region.  In many ways the wealth invested in solar research is very similar to the investment of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sun Shot Initative and other such government programmes designed to foster CPV.

Supporting KA CARE with ground breaking research and information is the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) with a high level of expertise. For example, whilst Saudi Arabia’s dust storms are a concern for the moving parts in a CPV module, current research looking at the effect of dust on moving parts will help the industry understand more about this.

The UAE has also released government targets for renewable energy and the sunny desert climate means CPV will certainly be in the pipeline. The 1GW solar park in planning will have 200MW of PV and it is unknown whether this will also include CPV.  There is already a 10MW PV plant constructed by Masdar and highlights the potential uses for off grid and commercial uses for CPV, where there may be more customers who see the long term benefits of this innovative technology.

Soitec also have CPV installations in Jordan, making them the market leader in the area and with cell performance regularly hitting 25% cell efficiency, the prospects for CPV in Jordan look good. However it is unclear what will be achieved without further government support.

CPV International 2013 (21-22 March, Madrid) will include several agenda sessions on the opportunities for CPV in the Middle East including presentations by Apricum Consultants, Soitec, Sunpower, K.A. CARE and TUV Intercert to give delegates a thorough understanding of the technical, financial, and bureaucratic dynamics of the region to ease project development.

For more information on the Conference look at www.pv-insider.com/cpv

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