There are a number of Solar technologies being deployed in the MENA region. Here is an overview of some of them
- Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
- Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP)
- Solar Heating and Cooling
Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
Solar PV or solar panels can either be deployed in large scale ‘farms’ or can be installed in small numbers on a single dwelling. Their ‘scaleability’ is one of their features.
For information on the different Solar PV technologies (crystalline and thin film), we recommend this site: http://www.solarbuzz.com/going-solar
There are a number of exciting projects in the region – to find out more click here.
Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP)
This technology is entering a new phase of growth globally. Currently in MENA, the 100MW Shams 1 project has been financed and is under construction in the UAE while hybrid plants, using parabolic trough plants with natural gas are under construction in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco (20MW) as part of the Mediterranean Solar Plan
Watch this video from James May from Britains ‘Top Gear’ as he visits a CSP plant in Spain:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnpNSq6jfAU
For an explanation of how this technology works, the International Energy Agency has produced an CSP Essentials Brochure. Download here.
There are a number of exciting projects in the region – to find out more click here
Masdar is also involved in CSP plants in Spain. See this video on the GemaSolar project in Spain – the world’s first baseload solar power plant using molten salt technology. Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcWVIiDKVao&feature=related
Solar Heating and Cooling
These technologies are utilised at both commercial and residential scale. Solar Hot Water systems are competitive with their gas equivalents and are a well-established and reliable technology. Integration of solar hot water into commercial scale buildings is a key component of Estidama building principles.
For more information on Solar Hot Water, we recommend this site: http://www.solarbuzz.com/going-solar/using/solar-thermal
Solar Assisted Cooling is less established but nonetheless innovative and could have a big role to play in the MENA region. We are actively looking for some information on solar cooling technology and the middle-east. If you are involved in this area, please contact us.