Middle East and Africa PV Market Accumulates 12 GW Pipeline with Strong Growth Potential 2015-07-14

      The photovoltaic (PV) market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is set for strong growth, with many multi-megawatt ground mount projects in the planning or pre-planning phases. PV projects in Africa have a total potential capacity of more than 11 GW and projects in the Middle East amount to a total potential capacity of at least 1.3 GW.


       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. 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.


       More than 99% of the potential PV capacity is from ground-mounted projects, and average sizes of these projects in Africa tend to be larger than in most established PV markets. Economy of scale tends to raise the attractiveness of large projects, but the large size of ground-mount solar parks also increases risk, particularly in countries with previously little or no existing PV markets.


       In the Middle East, more than 95% of the total PV capacity is ground-mounted, with the strongest roof-mounted PV demand coming from Israel. Israel is currently the largest PV market in the Middle East, with about 260 MW of completed projects, and over 300 MW of projects in the pipeline; however, large PV projects are expected to emerge in Saudi Arabia, as soon as the country’s renewable energy tender program begins.


Figure 1: Completed and Pipeline PV Project Completion Rates Across the Middle East and Africa

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