Taiwan seeks MENA options

3 June 2013

A joint seminar on business opportunities in the Middle East photovoltaic market was staged April 26 by the ROC Ministries of Economic and Foreign Affairs as part of efforts to assist Taiwan PV manufacturers expand their overseas markets.

Representatives of the MOEA Bureau of Energy and MOFA Department of West Asian and African Affairs, along with specially invited foreign experts, explained the political and economic conditions in the region and the special characteristics of the Middle East’s PV markets. Advice was given on how local PV makers could cooperate with installers in the region to allow them to rapidly evaluate and enter the market.

Much like traditional PV markets such as Germany, Japan and the U.S., the Middle East is thriving and there is abundant financial support for solar projects, the MOEA said Saudi Arabia has announced in its latest renewable energy white paper that it plans by 2016 to have 2.4 gigawatts of installed solar capacity. Analysts estimate that by 2017, this capacity may exceed 5 GW.

The United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar presently have 500-megawatt peak of installed capacity. Masdar City, which is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources. The project is expected to generate numerous business opportunities for PV manufacturers worldwide.

The Bureau of Energy has created an action plan with three main strategies and 16 specific measures to enable Taiwan’s PV industry expand its overseas markets and to boost its competitiveness.

BOE Director-General Jerry J.R. Ou recently led a delegation of Taiwan solar industry representatives on a sales mission to Japan, which created NT$3 billion (US$101 million) in orders. Follow-up sales have help sustain the local PV industry at full production, the MOEA said.

The MOEA and MOFA will join hands in organizing a PV business delegation led by high-level officials to explore opportunities in the Middle East. “Taiwan,as one of the leading markets itself for solar, is well placed to provide expertise and investment into MENA’s burgeoning solar industry” says Derek Burston, exhibition director, GulfSol 2013.

“This year’s inaugural GulfSol exhibition will provide a key meeting place as a result for delegations from around the World to see the opportunities for themselves at close quarters” he adds, “and that is why we are seeing a surge in exhibition stand bookings with three months to go”.

GulfSol2013 takes place from 3-5 September 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. For more information visit www.gulfsol.com or contact dburston@bowheadmedia.com

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