The world’s solar industry pioneers will be in the UAE in January to identify ways to ramp up their contribution to the global energy supply. Industry leaders will meet with the world's leading solar energy companies, financiers, energy buyers, and government policymakers at the Solar Expo & Clean Energy Forum – the MENA region's leading solar marketplace.
According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, clean energy employment is “rapidly growing” and now accounts for more than half of all energy sector jobs. Hiring in clean energy has pushed energy sector employment globally above pre-pandemic levels – despite the oil and gas sector still struggling to recover from big layoffs in the initial stages of COVID-19. The Arab World will also see nearly US$700 billion worth of investment in renewable energy transition between 2020 and 2050, with a target to generate more than 70 Gigawatts of power from renewable energy by 2050. This, coupled with the recent COP 27 and upcoming COP 28, has propelled clean energy discussions across both public and private sectors.
“To date, solar is proving to once again be a strong show sector as regional and global energy exhibitors look to use the World Future Energy Summit to access the bountiful regional opportunities,” said Leen Alsebai, Head of World Future Energy Summit and General Manager of RX Middle East, the organisers of the event. “We are expecting a wide range of solar innovations and products to be a part of the show next year and alongside with our list of industry heavy hitters speaking at the conference, we are well positioned to help realise the massive potential of solar to address the world’s increasingly complex energy supply dilemmas”.
Global solar giants will be side-by-side with entrepreneurial innovators, with both planning to launch Photovoltaic (PV)-related products for power generation, storage, and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) efficiency.
Jinko Solar, one of the world's largest solar PV technology companies, will be returning to the event in January and bringing with it the latest N-Type solar panel range. “We look forward to exhibiting again at the upcoming World Future Energy Summit in January,” said Dany Qian, VP of Jinko Solar. “This is an exciting time for us at Jinko Solar, as we delivered 18.21 gigawatts of solar panels globally in the first half of 2022, representing an increase of 79 per cent year-on-year. As we look towards the end of the year and into 2023, we are increasing the production capacity of our N-Type panels, including the Tiger Neo, and are excited to showcase these, alongside other innovations, to our partners and attendees at the largest industry gathering in the Middle East.”
The GCC has made huge headways in the solar field, with the UAE in the transition vanguard of solar PV deployment. The Emirates aims to generate half of its electricity from carbon-free sources, driven mainly by solar PV, by 2050.
Abu Dhabi, which already hosts the world’s largest operational PV plant, plans to install 5.6GW of PV capacity by 2026, and Dubai – which has instigated the giant Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – is looking to source 75 per cent of its electricity generation from renewables by 2050. Saudi Arabia meanwhile looks to include 40GW of PV into its ambitious Vision 2030 renewables targets; Oman is close to completing its first utility-scale PV project and the tendering of two more large PV projects; Kuwait plans to install PV in its Shagaya Solar Park; Bahrain says the Kingdom will rely primarily on solar, wind, and waste-to-energy power generation to reduce carbon emissions and achieve renewable targets; while Qatar plans to launch two major solar projects to more than double its renewables output within the next two years.
“The potential is huge with the GCC’s ambitions being replicated throughout the rest of the MENA region,” added Alsebai. “The Forum will discuss strategies to meet energy expectations, particularly in urban areas, and the technologies that can help achieve these aims.”
The Solar Expo & Clean Energy Forum will deliver up-to-date insights into the GCC’s transition goals of wholesale renewable energy systems. Confirmed speakers include Ahmed AlMazrouei, Director of Regulation & Supervision Dept., Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, UAE, Bruce Smith, Executive Director, Strategy & Planning, Emirates Water & Electricity Company, Antonio Di Cecca, Chief Operating Officer, Tabreed, Stephan Gobert, Senior Vice President, Hydrogen, Engie, Martin Nagell, Adviser, Office of the CEO, Masdar. A speaker and panellist line up of more than 50 industry experts from across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, UK, and Asia will explore the entire solar eco-system and the technologies and policies needed to leverage its potential to meet national targets, Solar’s role in the circular economy, how to maximise asset profitability and performance, and boost efficiency through automation.
Renewables discussions will focus on maintaining grid stability in renewables-heavy environments; the future of community-level distributed energy in the Middle East, utility-scale power opportunities and sustainability-linked finance for renewables projects, regional opportunities for hydrogen and green hydrogen manufacturing, storage technology, and the rise of hybrid power. Delegates will also hear Ahmed Nada, the President of the Middle East Solar Industry Association, deliver his much-anticipated outlook for the industry.
Speaking ahead of the show, Robin Zhu, Head of Huawei Middle East Smart PV & ESS Department, has eyed digital integration and technologies as key to its participation to drive better technology adoption. “At the Summit, we look forward to showcasing the latest steps we have taken under Huawei Digital Power, where the integration of digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power, and enabling energy digitalisation to drive energy revolution for a better, greener future are our top priorities”.
The gathering is one of five dedicated circular economy forums being held under the umbrella of the World Future Energy Summit 2023 – the leading international event to accelerate sustainability and global transition to clean energy. The Summit will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from January 16-18. Being held as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar.