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Region can become a solar energy hub

THE MIDDLE EAST has the opportunity to become a boom centre for solar energy in the next 10 years, according to AT Kearney.

The region will get additional 9,000MW of concentrated solar power capacities until 2020 and more than 40,000MW until 2030, said the global management consulting firm.
This solar generated power will give the Middle East the option to sell the gas and oil at increasing prices to the world market instead of burning it to generate electricity, and also create huge employment opportunities in direct or supporting industries, it added.
"The Mena region has a unique opportunity to develop high quality globally competitive solar suppliers, who produce at lower costs than the US or European suppliers.
A competitive regional solar energy industry has the potential of creating more than 100,000 new jobs in the region, based on benchmarks from other regions.
These jobs include direct jobs in Photovoltaic (PV) and CSP suppliers, developers and operators as well as supporting industries," said Christian von Tschirschky, principal, AT Kearney Middle East.
The firm said when looking at energy generation cost and job creation opportunities Mena countries should invest in a solar power energy industry.
CSP will likely become cost-competitive in the next 12 months, as oil and gas prices are increasing with oil expected to sell at above US$100 (Dh367.29) and the costs for CSP technology sinking due to productivity improvements.
"The cost-competitiveness will lead to a boom in solar energy on a global basis and represents a unique opportunity for the Middle East," said Dr Dirk Buchta, Managing Director of AT Kearney Middle East.