The United Arab Emirates solar energy market is expected to record a CAGR of more than 15% in the forecast period, 2020 - 2025. Factors, such as encouraging government policies and pressure to meet the power demand using renewable to decrease dependency on fossils and decrease Carbon footprints are significant contributors to the growth of the market. Along with this, falling system prices for solar panels are encouraging the public to accept solar panels for the domestic purpose also. The declining costs of renewable technologies are becoming competitive with fossil fuel sources, and additional support from different world organizations is driving the solar market further ahead. On the other hand, high installation cost, continuous maintenance, and cleaning cost of panels with a limited supply of power are some of the factors that can restrain the market growth.
- Photovoltaic solar energy has been growing at a significant rate and expected to witness high growth in the forecast period and dominate the solar market.
- The adaption of visionary UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the country is set to increase the clean energy share to 7% by 2020 and 44% by 2050 by investing in nuclear and solar energy.
- With upcoming groundbreaking projects like Noor Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with an expected capacity of 1200 MW, and 5000 MW, respectively, the share of solar energy is going to drive at a considerable growth rate.
Key Market Trends
Photovoltaic to Dominate the Market
- Photovoltaic (PVs) are arrays of cells containing a solar photovoltaic material that converts solar radiation or energy from the sun into direct current electricity. They consist of a variety of semiconductors, usually silicon and highly conductive wire, to reduce any current loss, which makes them expensive. But the operational cost is so low that they are expected to become cost-free after a period of 25 years according to estimation in 2018.
- Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels held a share of more than 80% of installed solar capacity in 2018, with an installed capacity of around 500 MW, whereas Concentrated Solar Panels (CSPs) only contributed 100 MW of supply to the grid.
- Photovoltaic solar cells generated 0.9 TWh of electricity in 2018, adding 0.4 TWh to the electricity generated in 2017. Thus, it witnessed a surge of 80% in the share of electricity supply and generated 1.6% of UAE’s electricity demand.
- The Al Maktoum Solar Park, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and Noor Abu Dhabi are few ambitious solar projects in the region driving PV solar energy growth significantly.
- Observing the ongoing project developments in PV solar panels, they are going to hold a significant market in comparison with Concentrated Solar Panels.
Upcoming And Ongoing Projects to Drive the Market
- With the implementation of the United Arab Emirates Energy Strategy 2050 for green energy, the government is aiming to generate 44% of electricity based on renewable energy. Projects with large capacity are under construction and planning phases that will pave the path to achieve this goal by 2050.
- In February 2020, with the installation of United Arab Emirates’ first floating solar farm near Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi, with a capacity of 80 KW, the UAE is set to explore new possibilities in the solar market.
- The world’s largest solar power plant, ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’, started generating power in July 2019, with a capacity of 1,177 MW that is expected to meet the power needs of 90,000 people.
- One of the dream projects, Mohamad bin Rashid solar Park, with an estimated investment of USD 13.6 billion, could power as many as 1.3 million homes, reducing carbon emissions by 6.5 million tons annually, is expected to complete its third phase by 2020. It is expected to generate 5 GW of energy after completion in 2030.
- With excellent geographical advantage and an average sunlight duration of 10 hours a day, the United Arab Emirates holds a strong potential for solar energy.
The United Arab Emirates solar energy market is partially fragmented. The major companies include First Solar Inc., Enerwhere Sustainable Energy DMCC, Masdar Abu Dhabi, Alsa Solar Systems LLC, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and others
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