Solar power will occupy a big part of the Middle East’s energy agenda through the next decade

The International Energy Agency expects renewable energy to account for around 22% of total world power supplies by 2030. The Middle East’s geographic location, vast financial resources, strong political will and hosting of the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency, among others, places it in a highly strategic position to dominate the rapidly expanding renewable energy market.

Anil Menon, Country Manager, United Arab Emirates, said, "Solar power will occupy a big part of the Middle East’s energy agenda through the next decade. Rapid development will drive the region’s energy spend to $2.2 trillion by 2019, with solar energy ranking among the top energy alternatives. The UAE alone will allocate around $926bn within the next 9 years to meet an expected 71% surge in primary energy demand. Given the growing global emphasis on reduced depend on carbon fuels, the Middle East needs to focus more on solar power which it can more efficiently harness compared to other parts of the world."

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s recent ‘International Energy Report,’ by 2050 the demand for energy derived from fossil fuels globally will be 15% lower than it was in 2005 due to advancements in renewable forms of energy. The report predicts that solar energy, wind energy, biomass and hydropower would be the main sources of renewable energy, as opposed to traditional fossil fuels.

Globally, DuPont is gearing up for the rise in demand for solar energy. The company exceeded $1bn in revenue from sales into the photovoltaic market in 2010 – one year ahead of schedule, and has set a goal to reach $2bn by 2014, based on a continued growth supported by new market-driven innovations that improve solar module efficiency and performance, bringing costs down in line with other forms of energy.

The solar energy market is rapidly growing globally and DuPont’s challenge from an innovation perspective is to continue to broaden its portfolio of photovoltaic solutions locally in order to meet the needs of the commercial and consumer markets.

Solar energy is one of the most abundant forms of energy in the Middle East and because of the nature of the technology it can be generated pretty much anywhere in the country, from small domestic scale right up to massive solar parks. While the solar energy market is expected to go through growing pains, it is expected to eventually become mainstream particularly due to its appeal in light of various environmental factors.