The Middle East has a lot of plans for both solar and wind power but legislative reform is critical if these schemes are to progress. Mechanisms such as feed in tariffs give developers confidence and make projects attractive and Egypt, Algeria and Jordan have made more progress than other states in recognising this and making changes to their legislation. On the practical side many states are opting for increasing their solar capacity by supplementing traditional combined cycle power plants with a solar field. This works well and makes the steam turbines more efficient by adding to the steam produced by the waste heat from the gas turbine process, using steam generated from solar heat. Four plants are underway in Morocco, Algeria, Iran and Egypt and another is planned by Kuwait. Meanwhile progress on pure solar fields is slow. Cost issues are delaying projects according to insiders. This is not suprising. New projects + new technologies = uncertainty = cost.
On the wind energy side sites are becoming operational in Morocco, Egypt and Turkey with more planned in Jordan, Algeria and Tunisia. Developers are excited and have sent in their lobbyists and top teams to liaise with regional governments. “We need legislation to support wind energy,” says one. With targets like 7200MW of wind by 2020 from Egypt alone the potential is enormous.
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