FCBI Energy

At Menasol, Optimism for solar companies wanting to enter the North Africa and Middle East market


Source: FCBI Energy

The UN, World Bank, African Development Bank, IFC, and League of Arab States were just a few of the speakers at MENASOL 2010 held in Cairo on May 4-5. Over 250 solar professionals attended not only from the MENA region but many international companies in Europe and the USA. The key reason for all delegates to attend was to get the inside track on how to finance, develop and build utility scale solar projects in the MENA region.

A clear message from all the speakers was that the solar potential for the regions was immeasurable and was defiantly shaping up to be the leading region that could harness the solar power and develop a booming industry for either domestic use or export to Europe.

The biggest European initiatives including the DESERTEC Foundation and Mediterranean Solar Plan outlined the bright future that could make Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt the powerhouse for the rest of Europe.

It would not be fair to mention the recent activities in Saudi Arabia that which are pro actively working towards creating a solar industry as big or even bigger then the oil sector. An impressive statement, but with the government and private companies sharing the same vision, Saudi Arabia could once again be a leading energy provider.  And it doesn’t stop there as they are also looking at being a manufacturing base to supply the  PV and CSP community.

The future of solar for each country was discussed by government agencies and ministries and the practicalities of developing this projects were discussed by leading players such as Abengoa, Acciona as well as top research institutions such as DLR which gave the full picture on capacity building in region and how these projects can transform the education and employment of a country.

Obviously lots of steps need to be taken as there are many challenges that lay ahead, including the security for international investment, subsides & regulations. All of these were discussed and created interesting debate among the participants during the panel discussions and Q&A.

Heidi Hafes, Event Director,  New Solar Today said ‘The high level of participation and mix between the commercial and private sector was key to making this event so successful for those involved. Governments were able to use it as a platform to attract investment and businesses were able to develop the company strategy for the region. It is a well known fact that building relationships is fundamental to generate business, and even more so in the region…and having spoken to many of the participants this was definitely achieved.’

MENASOL 2010 has defiantly created some excitement for the solar industry and offered a realistic perspective of what the future holds for the MENA region.

For more information or if you would like to purchase the presentations please contact:
Heidi Hafes, Event Director, New Solar Today

+44 207 375 7206



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