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Middle East Solar Industry Requires Legal Framework to Create Local Market, Expert Says

Solar experts gather to discuss regional developments at Solar Middle East Conference


Dubai, UAE -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/23/2014 -- A solid legal framework must be created in order for the Middle East to be considered a global player in the development of solar energy solutions, a leading solar expert has said today.

Dr Michael Kraemer, Senior Associate of law firm Taylor Wessing and a Board Member for the Emirates Solar Industry Association, has called for the creation of a local solar market but warns that in order to build one, the region must introduce the necessary legal structures.

Speaking ahead of his participation in the second edition of the Solar Middle East Conference, taking place on 12 February at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dr Kraemer said, “Investments are made into existing and upcoming markets, such as the Middle East, so a local solar market needs to be created.

“The first step to making this happen is to introduce a solid legal framework which will provide long term visibility and certainty for investors.”

Joining an expert line-up of regional and international solar players who are looking to develop the necessary policies to harness the abundance of sunlight in the region, Dr Kraemer will provide a policy update to conference delegates from his unique legal perspective.

He added, “Ideally, a legal framework would also open up the market for smaller scale, private investors, for example by providing the legal basis for a rooftop solar programme. Most jurisdictions which have tapped into such private investments have developed interesting local solar markets. Mistakes have been made in some countries, but these are useful lessons to be learnt and we now have the chance not to make the same mistakes.”

Reflecting a strong focus on the development of solar power facilities, expenditure on solar projects throughout the Middle East is expected to grow by 40 per cent annually until 2017, according market research firm IHS, as the region establishes itself as one of the world’s foremost solar markets.

The free to attend Solar Middle East Conference is a feature of the Solar Middle East exhibition, which takes place from 11-13 February, alongside Middle East Electricity, the region’s foremost energy event.

The opening panel session of the conference will discuss the vision, leadership and investment that is driving the region’s solar power and renewable energy research and development forward.

Vahid Fouthi, President of Middle East Solar Industry Association, who will offer an exclusive solar industry analysis and MENA market overview, believes the region’s solar market will one day become large enough to warrant a ‘home-grown’ solar solution, from solar panel manufacturing to system installation and maintenance.

“This will be an evolutionary process and it will not happen overnight. The key will be to establish a sound and stable regulatory framework. If investors have confidence in the long-term growth of the market they will deploy the necessary funds to manufacture locally,” he said.

“The best way for local governments to fan this confidence is to put in place sound legislation that outlines how much solar capacity will be deployed, by whom, and in what format. Once this is established everything else will fall in to place. We have seen significant growth in the MENA solar market over the past year. The whole region is sizzling with activity and we are thrilled to see solar finally take off in the Middle East.”

Other speakers at the Solar Middle East Conference include Matthew Merfert, Director of Projects, Middle East, First Solar; Peter Styles, Board Member and Director of Electricity, European Federation of Energy Traders; Timothy Kim, Senior Transaction Manager, Office of Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance, US Export-Import Bank and Ash Sharma, Senior Director, Solar Research, IHS.

The exhibition and conference is officially supported by the Dubai Municipality, Enpark, Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA), Environmental Center for Arab Towns, Global Solar Alliance, The Energy Institute (EI), Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC), Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), TAITRA and Society of Engineers – UAE.

Solar Middle East and Middle East Electricity are partnered with Africa Electricity and Power Nigeria. For more information about Solar Middle East, or to be involved as an exhibitor, visitor, sponsor, or delegate, go to or call: +971 (0)4 336 5161.

About Informa
Informa Exhibitions operate around 130 trade and consumer events in over 38 cities across the globe. The main office locations are in London, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Singapore, Melbourne and Beijing. Informa has more than 150 offices in more than 40 countries, employs over 9,000 staff globally and is the largest publicly owned organiser of conferences and courses in the world with an output of over 10,000 events annually.