WFES: Egypt could add 500 MW of PV in 2016, says MESIA

Egypt could grow its solar market by around half a gigawatt in 2016, says a new report by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).

The MESIA Middle East Solar Outlook for 2016, unveiled at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, forecasts Egypt to begin 1.5 GW of solar PV construction this year, with around one-third of that – 500 MW – possibly brought online before year close.

Imtiaz Mahtab, MESIA’s president, told pv magazine that provided Egypt can address certain issues surrounding currency woes and a stable investment climate, the market for solar PV will begin to grow.

“I think, once these concerns have been addressed, 500 MW of PV will be built in Egypt this year,” he said.

Mahtab added that Jordan’s market will continue to go from strength to strength, particularly once it is able to increase its power transmission capabilities under the Green Corridor project.

MESIA’s report forecasts that just over 2 GW of new solar projects will be tendered in the MENA region in 2016, matching 2015 (when 2.2 GW was tendered) and making the region a 5 GW market.

“In terms of the total market of MENA, because there is a backlog of projects coming up, the actual level of tendered projects for 2016 will be closer to 3 GW. This makes MENA a 5 GW market, and heralds a major shift towards solar,” Mahtab said.

The MESIA report also outlined six solar trends it expects for MENA for the year, including very low LCOE, greater desire for energy independency, growth in the commercial and industrial solar sectors, more distributed PV, strengthening electric networks and the added bonus of low oil and gas prices – which will serve to improve solar’s competitiveness.