MENA ready for massive solar roll-out in 2018, pipeline nears 12 Gigawatt

By March 13, 2018Industry News

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region 2018 is expected to be the year for massive roll-out of solar energy, says the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).

According to MESIA’s Annual Solar Outlook Report 2018, the photovoltaic (PV) project pipeline in 2018 amounts to 11.86 GW. There are also 4.9 GW of large solar projects under construction, including 1.8 GW in Egypt and nearly a gigawatt combined in Jordan and Morocco. Projects bigger than 10 MW with a combined capacity of 1.14 GW have been awarded or are under tender.

MENA’s operational large-scale solar capacity has reached 1.36 GW, led by Jordan with 467 MW, Algeria with 353 MW and the UAE with 323 MW.

The table below contains details on solar projects in the pipeline.

ProjectCapacity (in MW)StatusCountry
Bahrain PV200AnnouncedBahrain
Solar IPP (West Nile)600PrequalificationEgypt
Solar IPP (Kom Ombo)200Bid stageEgypt
Round 3200Bid stageJordan
Risha PV50Financial CloseJordan
Water Authority Jordan30PrequalificationJordan
KNPC1,000Bid stageKuwait
Noor Midelt800Bid stageMorocco
Qatar PV200AnnouncedQatar
Multiple sites6,400AnnouncedSaudi Arabia
Tunisia PV70Bid stageTunisia
Tozeur PV10Bid stageTunisia
Sweihan II1,200AnnouncedUAE
DEWA Phase V300AnnouncedUAE

The 2018 pipeline also includes concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in Egypt (350 MW), Lebanon (50 MW), and Morocco (800 MW). The latter is in the bid stage and the others have been announced.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to lead the solar industry with more tenders planned.

MESIA pointed out that, in addition to large-scale solar, commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop solar has started to show growth trends across the region. Jordan, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE are all at different stages of developing regulatory frameworks for the sector. They all target “meaningful megawatts” of rooftop solar in 2018 and 2019.

The association also expects further adoption of energy storage solutions, such as batteries and pumped-storage hydro, in the Middle East, and more electric vehicles (EVS).

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