The pace of technological progress continues to limit growth of the Middle East’s solar energy market with tariffs also playing a role in reducing the number of newer entrants, according to Dubai-based logistics firm Aramex.
“The UAE has been particularly ambitious in terms of its solar energy targets so they have tried to make ease of doing business in this sector as simple as possible to grow the market faster,” Raji Hattar, the group’s chief sustainability officer told Construction Week Online.
“Jordan has very ambitious renewable energy targets of which solar is very important,” he said, adding the country is pushing heavily away from more traditional fuels because they are so expensive in the country.
However, Hattar added: “Technology remains a major limiting factor in growing the solar energy market. Success of many solar projects in the Middle East stems from tariffs which tend to form one of the biggest barriers to entry for new players.”
Despite this, the solar energy market in the UAE, he added, is “moving faster now that it ever has before”, partly because the procedures, rules and regulations governing entry into the market are fairly straightforward and non-restrictive.
In July this year, Aramex partnered with IMG Solar, a subsidiary of Jordanian firm Izzat Marij Group in launching a 3.2 megawatt solar photo-voltaic plant for its new logistics facility in Dubai – which contains 9,000 solar panels, covered over a total roof area of 38,000 square meters.
The energy yield for the system, which is now up and running, is around 5 GWh per year, contributing to over 3,000 tons of avoided CO₂ emissions per year.
Speaking at the time, Hattar said the group was planning Phase 2 of this project, aimed at increasing the capacity to 7 Megawatt upon completion.