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18 Apr 2012 03:04:02

A step in the right direction for solar in the Middle East

The Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) are taking significant steps towards promoting solar development in the UAE and Middle East after holding its first ever Annual General Meeting.

The association has appointed eight members to the board of which comprise several senior level key influencers within the solar community. Members from Siemens, Taylor Wessing, Masdar and Environmena will be presenting at MENASOL 2012 (16th-17th May, Abu Dhabi).

In a time of uncertainty in the mature solar markets and rapidly increasing energy demand in emerging markets and beyond, ESIA aims to accelerate opportunity for solar developments in the UAE and the Middle East. This non-profit, non-governmental association aims to bridge the knowledge gap between the community and aid policy makers in the region towards laying the necessary foundations to allow solar to flourish.

The biggest challenge to the industry in the region is the lack of a regulatory framework. The policies that govern the installation and distribution of solar power have not yet been written for the most part. Fortunately this process is now underway in several key markets such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. ESIA is confident that over the next few years more and more countries will start adopting and deploying solar policies which will gradually make the Middle East a major hub for solar power in the world.

Vahid Fotuhi, President of ESIA commented: ‘The beauty of the solar market in the Middle East is that it is very diverse. There is something for everybody. Whether you are a solar PV manufacturer or CSP there are opportunities for you. It's just a question of doing a proper due diligence and collecting reliable ground-based meteorological data.’

Michael Krämer, newly appointed Legal Counsel of ESIA and Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing commented: ‘There are not many projects to work on at present, given that all we have here are a few rather big projects. This will only change once the general public is getting involved, for example by feed-in-tariffs being introduced that would make investment into renewables worthwhile for private investors too’

Both Vahid Fotuhi and Michael Krämer shall be presenting at MENASOL 2012 (16th-17th May, Abu Dhabi) alongside Adrian Wood (Siemens), Marketing and Communications Director for ESIA, and other representatives from Environmena and Masdar who form the rest of the ESIA board.

Event organizer Max Crompton stated that “In the wake of uncertainty surrounding regulation and technology choice for solar in the Middle East, ESIA are taking a step in the right direction by helping unite the industry and create a viable roadmap to sustain future solar developments in the region”.

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