United Arab Emirates – November 14, 2012: Today, the Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) and PwC revealed the results of a jointly-developed national solar power survey.
The results reveal a number of important insights into the UAE solar industry. Notably, the majority of the participants view government as the key driver for the growth of solar power in the UAE. On the flip side, the absence of a feed-in tariff incentive scheme, which is viewed as the most attractive policy option, is seen as the industry’s greatest challenge. Another challenge that was noted by the participants is the difficulty in obtaining bank financing for solar projects.
The renewables targets set by Abu Dhabi and Dubai are perceived as a sound starting point although legally binding regulatory frameworks are deemed necessary to provide the certainty needed for the industry to flourish.
The UAE Solar Survey was initiated by ESIA and PwC with the support of the UAE government. The aim of the survey was to gain insights into the perceived barriers to the growth of solar in the UAE.
The survey collected insights from over 170 solar industry professionals. More than 60% of participants were UAE-based, ensuring strong local knowledge. The participants were drawn from government sector, solar project engineering and technology manufacturers and expert advisors, thus ensuring that both public and private sector perspectives were incorporated in the analysis.
The UAE, a country blessed with an outstanding potential for solar power development, is eager to develop a viable solar power market; Abu Dhabi aims to generate 7% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, while Dubai targets 5% by 2030. However, market growth rates have been timid.
The President of ESIA, Vahid Fotuhi, welcomed the survey results: “This survey clearly outlines the barriers for large-scale investment in the UAE solar power market. It will serve as a helpful reference for local and federal policy-makers. I am confident that by addressing the collective concerns highlighted in this survey we will be able to transform the UAE into a regional hub for solar energy.”
Hannes Reinisch, Senior Manager at PwC said: “We all know there is plenty of sunshine in the UAE and that there are plenty of parties interested in developing this resource, in line with the government’s green growth agenda. Our survey highlights some of the perceived challenges in making this happen – financing, experience, regulatory certainty – challenges that the public and private sector can now focus on and resolve together.”
About the Emirates Solar Industry Association
The Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA) is a non-profit, non-governmental trade association that seeks to unite and represent all stakeholders from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) solar power industry.
ESIA’s key objective is to foster the development of a viable solar power market in the UAE, and in turn the wider Middle Eastern region. In pursuance of this objective, the association assists policy-makers on policy matters, advises new market entrants on setting up locally, facilitates business opportunities for its members and provides a strong, coherent and unified voice for the UAE solar power industry.
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