Dubai’s solar energy summit starts today

GulfSol 2015, an event dedicated to the latest in solar energy, starts today at the World Trade Centre, Dubai. The three-day event showcases the latest solar thermal & photovolatic technologies available in the region.

Aside from various workshops and exhibits, GulfSol 2015 is also hosting the Global Solar Leaders Summit that happens today. The summit brings together senior government officials and private sector stakeholders from across The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) to discuss and debate the region’s solar future.

The Middle East and North Africa region, which is expected to attract more than $50 billion investment in solar power over the next five years, has been the focus of solar energy experts over the last decade.

The Global Solar Leaders Summit, with 30 industry leaders as speakers, will provide a platform for discussion about the future of solar energy in the region.

Dr. Mater Al Neyadi, the undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Energy, presented a keynote address to the summit about the UAE’s plans for renewable energy.

Jordan’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Dr. Ibrahim Saif’s keynote address covered the reform of the energy sector in Jordan, followed by a keynote from AbidSher Ali, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Water and Power, titled ‘Towards a sustainable energy future’.

Henry Rotich, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Energy, Kenya also addressed the summit alongside Masdar’s Chief Operating Officer, Ahmed Belhoul.

Premium sponsor of the summit, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) addressed the delegates during a key note speech given by Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, the managing director and chief operating officer on the UAE’s drive to deliver “utilities scale solar power.”

Al Tayer said the renewable energy is a key strategic objective for Dewa, which is working to expand the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to generate 2,600MW from renewable energy by 2030.

As the cost of solar photovoltaic panels fall and investment soars, a special panel debate will take place in the morning to address the implementation of policies by governments across the region.

Among a host of key speakers, the afternoon panel session entitled ‘Harnessing the potential of rooftop solutions’ will follow on from Dewa’s first rooftop solar scheme. A discussion based on the key indicators needed when trying to attract investments for solar schemes will then take place.

Co-pilot of Solar Impulse 2, Dr Bertrand Piccard addressed a panel with a keynote speech entitled “Pushing the boundaries of solar innovation”.

He will share his experience of his journey earlier this year aboard Solar Impulse 2 – a sun-powered aircraft the size of a Boeing 747, but only the weight of a car – which came close to flying around the world.

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