Research from Finland’s Aalto University claims the residential cooling sector could sustain 540 GW of solar generation capacity if the world’s air conditioning systems were solar powered. Academics say synergies between PV and the cooling industry will become stronger as demand for the latter shifts nearer the equator, where seasonal differences in weather are less pronounced.
With Kuwait, Qatar and even renewables laggard Saudi Arabia following in the wake of regional clean energy pioneer the UAE, a raft of huge solar tenders is entering the Middle Eastern project pipeline. Obstacles remain to overseas project developers but significant rewards are on offer.
Emilio J Garcia Rodriguez, from tracker manufacturer PV Hardware, spoke to pv magazine about the company’s activity in the Middle East and North Africa market. Dust, heat and heavy storms complicate the installation and operation of trackers.
When built, the 5 MW solar park will add to two other megawatt scale plants powering Azraq’s refugee camp. The project is expected to be developed with the support of the Spanish government.
A tribute to Guy Sella has hailed ‘a brilliant man’ and ‘a revolutionary trailblazer’ who was ‘vibrant and energetic’ yet ‘down-to-earth and approachable’.
The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority will use energy from the gigawatt-scale Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to provide a new hydropower plant with pumped storage capacity. The state-owned utility has announced a number of innovations for the project in recent months, including plans for hydrogen and large-scale storage capacity.
With a combination of scale, a growing population, outstanding irradiation, and available capital, solar PV should be a ‘no brainer’ for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But early explorations of the technology have soured expectations, and progress has come in fits and starts.
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