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12 GW Solar pipeline in Africa & Middle East

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Middle East & Africa close to 12 GW

My article last week said that the Asia-Pacific region is all set to be the world champions in solar in the second half of 2014. According to a research by NPD Solarbuzz, Asia Pacific will account 60% of the total PV demand in H2 2014, with China and Japan being the key players. Another report by the research team states that there has been significant activities in the Middle East and African regions. The current project pipeline in Africa is estimated to be ~ 11 GW and that in the Middle East is 1.3 GW. Thus Middle East and Africa will together contribute close to 12 GW of solar power to the global numbers.

“Until now, PV market growth in the MEA region has been mainly driven by a small number of economically prosperous countries, in particular South Africa and Israel,” said Susanne von Aichberger, analyst, NPD Solarbuzz. “These two countries, and Saudi Arabia, are expected to offer stable demand levels within the MEA region over the next few years. The capacity share of the remaining MEA region is projected to increase; however, the increase depends on relatively few, but very large, projects.”

Source: PV-Tech

Why Large ground mounted Solar Parks

The countries are focusing on ground mounted solar parks, given the economy of scale. The costs  are reduced in permitting, maintenance as well. Solar parks can be built on disturbed land (like airbases or landfills too). Large Solar Farms are controlled by utilities or IPPs, hence there is less pushback from utilities which generally control transmission and allow easier acceptance of solar energy.


The only risk it poses is that the large sized solar parks can be risky for these regions with very less solar markets. There is poor infrastructure, political barriers, corruption and other societal issues.








Africa is a power deficit continent and is always in dire need of energy. If countries in Africa focus on solar energy and work together to removeall the barriers, I am sure their problem could soon be solved. With solar energy getting affordable by each day and reaching grid parity in many places, solar is the new and proven mantra for our generation and generations to come! Solar energy is in abundance in Africa and acres of land can be put to use to generate energy that will be cheaper, abundant and clean!!


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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