Which country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has the greatest and most realistic solar potential in the next five years? That was the question posed to a panel of renewable experts at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabiand the answer was resounding – Saudi Arabia.
As Imtiaz Mahtab of the Middle East Solar Industry Association said: “Saudi will be the icing on the cake” for the MENA region’s renewable ambitions.” Mohammed Atif of DNV-GL Energy told the audience that there had been “a sea-change” in Saudi over plans for solar projects. While the prospects may not be “visible to the public… much progress is going on within Saudi companies, and that is a good sign. I can see Saudi expanding significantly.” He said he had “high hopes” for the kingdom and added that the wider MENA is “up for very exciting times. We are involved in the policy and for us, we can see that the solar boom is really beginning to take off in the whole region – we are struggling to keep up.”