Industry perspectives

Clean Energy Business Council

“The CEBC will continue to push for better policy, data, research and communication, which are necessary if we are to see renewables take a greater foothold in the MENA Region.”

Alice Cowman

CEO, Clean Energy Business Council

The CEBC is delighted to collaborate with EY and the MESIA to produce the 2014 Middle East and North Africa Cleantech Survey Report.

Since the foundation of the CEBC in 2010, there has been great optimism about the potential for renewable technologies in the MENA Region. Unfortunately, this optimism has not been matched by actual projects completed on the ground. In spite of high-level targets being set by most countries in the region for renewable generation as part of the energy mix, there has been little serious commitment in terms of long-term policy support. This has been highlighted in the results of the cleantech survey for four years running.

However, there have been some very positive highlights in the last year. Jordan has led the way with its independent power producer renewables program and Egypt’s GW renewables program has attracted huge investor interest. The year ended with a world record when Saudi bid 5.98 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the 100 megawatt (MW) second phase at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar park in Dubai. With rooftop solar programs being announced throughout the region, it is hard not to remain excited about the future.

Governments are also showing signs of increasing tariffs and reducing fossil fuel subsidies. Abu Dhabi’s recent tariff hikes have made the case for energy efficiency and potential renewables that are more commercially viable than ever before. Interestingly, this survey also demonstrates the excitement we are seeing about water technologies in the region and, in particular, renewable desalination.

In spite of these small strides, the fact remains that approximately 98% of the region’s energy mix still comes from fossil fuels. Much greater momentum is required. The CEBC will continue to push for better policy, data, research and communication, which are necessary if we are to see renewables take a greater foothold in the MENA Region.

Alice Cowman

CEO, Clean Energy Business Council

Middle East Solar Industry Association

The MESIA is thrilled to have collaborated with EY and the CEBC in producing the 2014 MENA Cleantech Survey Report. The report reflects the excitement and optimism developing in the MENA cleantech sector, especially for solar power. We see significant cleantech growth happening in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This will no doubt help in making solar more robust and commercially attractive. We expect the solar market to exceed the cumulative level of 1, 000MW in terms of projects awarded, which is a major milestone for the industry.

Of course, despite the vast potential for solar technology in the Middle East, major hurdles still remain. One of the fundamental and most pressing hurdles is the lack of a policy framework. This is something that MESIA has been working very hard on for the past five years.

By shedding light on this issue, the survey reminds us that the problem has not been solved as yet and that it still requires a lot of attention, both from the public and the private sectors.

As the largest solar trade organization in the Middle East, MESIA will continue to support and collaborate with the policymakers in those markets by helping them with the regulatory, technological, commercial and operational steps involved in this linkage. We are confident that our collaborative efforts will reap rewards and that in the next five years, the Middle East solar industry will become one of the biggest success stories in the global cleantech sector.

Vahid Fotuhi

President | Middle East Solar Industry

Association

“The report reflects the excitement and optimism developing in the MENA cleantech sector, especially for solar power. We see significant cleantech growth happening in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

Vahid Fotuhi

President, Middle East Solar Industry Association