Week in Middle East: UAE’s first floating solar power plant launched in Abu Dhabi, Egypt- 12 companies compete for 200 MW west Nile solar plant, Saudi and the UAE to Invest Billions In Solar Power Projects In Egypt and More

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New solar park to ease Iraqi governorate’s power shortage

To combat growing electricity concerns in the district, the Iraqi governorate of Duhok signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) earlier this month to set up the district’s first solar energy park. The project comes amid pressure on Iraq to diversify its energy sources and lessen its dependence on Iran. Two years ago, Duhok released a plan for sustainable energy. The plan included the district’s pledge to make significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

UAE’s first floating solar power plant launched in Abu Dhabi

The UAE’s first floating solar power plant will begin energy production this week in Abu Dhabi. Located off Nurai Island, which is a 15 minute boat ride from the UAE capital, the floating solar panels will provide an additional 80 kilowatts of solar power energy to the nearby Zaya Nurai resort, where there are already 1,000 kilowatts of rooftop and ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems. The project aims to pave the way for floating renewable energy solutions in the emirates.

Syria launches tenders for 63 MW of solar

The Syrian Ministry of Electricity Transmission Establishment has issued two tenders for the construction of solar power plants with a combined generation capacity of 63 MW. The tender announcement was published by Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board after the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates forwarded it for issue by what the tender document calls “friendly countries”. The first tender, which has a bid deadline of March 20, is for a 40 MW solar plant near the Jandar natural gas power plant in the Homs governorate of central Syria. A second tender with the same closing date is for a 23 MW solar project near Damascus.

Egypt- 12 companies compete for 200 MW west Nile solar plant

Twelve companies agreed to participate in a tender for the construction of a solar power plant with a photovoltaic capacity of 200 MW west of the Nile within the 600 MW project proposed by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). Informed sources told Daily News Egypt that the EETC divided the 600 MW project and sent a letter to companies qualified in previous tenders to clarify this. Once they receive approval, fees for soil testing will be specified and divided. The companies that agreed to participate in the project are Masdar, Al-Fanar, Abdul-Latif Jameel, Lekela Power B.V., ACWApower, Orascom Construction, Biotherm, Alcazar, Tebia, and Sun Infinity, amongst others. The New and Renewable Energy Authority will be granting the land approved companies will use for a period of 25 years. The approved companies will then design, implement, finance, and operate the stations under the B.O.O. system, while the Egyptian company purchases the energy on a power purchase agreement.

Saudi and the UAE to Invest Billions In Solar Power Projects In Egypt

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are investing in Egypt’s solar power, with Benban solar park being the first project intended to garner foreign investment in the industry. Which is amazing news because it means that Egypt can actually make some bank off of renewable energy. Because of a law that paves the way for state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company to buy electricity from private companies, and with the price being only 8.4 cents per kilowatt, Egypt’s renewable power is expected to unveil an incredible level of investment opportunities. Now for the stats – as it stands, the Benban Solar Park contributes around 1.5% of the total electricity generated in Egypt, and the Aswan High Dam contributes around 7%, 2% of which comes from wind farms. Because renewable energy falls under development, the industry is usually quick to garner foreign development, especially with the overwhelming development boom which Egypt is currently experiencing. Egypt is expected to also receive investments from the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation and the Emirati Masdar, among others.

Turkey cuts admin fee for rooftop PV systems

The Turkish government has decided to cut the one-off administrative fee applied to rooftop PV systems, the country’s official journal has stated. The tariff, which includes an additional 18% VAT payment and is paid for securing approval from the authorities, will be almost halved from TRY529 ($87.37) to TRY278 for owners of such ‘unlicensed’ PV systems with generation capacities of 10-100 kW. For 100-300 kW systems the fee will fall 30.7%, from TRY1,528.50 to TRY1,058; 300-500 kW arrays will see the fee fall 3.1%, from TRY2,309.50 to TRY2,236.50; for 500-700 kW installations it will reduce 7.7%, from TRY4,089.5 to TRY3,773; and for 700 kW-1 MW facilities there will be a 1.1% saving, with the charge reducing from TRY5,202.50 to TRY5,147.50.

Renewables account for almost half of Turkey’s installed power

Turkey’s renewable energy capacity has registered a remarkable surge over the last decade, with a steady increase of 11% per year amid a 7% annual capacity rise in other fuels for power generation, Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar said Thursday during his remarks at a renewable energy conference in Istanbul. Turkey’s installed power capacity was calculated at a total of 91,267 megawatts (MW) by the end of last year, while only around a decade ago, the country possessed only 15,500 MW in renewable capacity. “The installed capacity in renewables totals 45,000 MW, accounting for 49% of the total installed power, nearly half of it,” Bayraktar stressed at the Renewable Energy Outlook Conference: Turkey, Central Asia, Caucasus and Western Balkans organized by the Atlantic Council in Turkey and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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