Leading solar panel maker Yingli to bid on Dubai project

Yingli supplies 9 per cent of the globe’s solar panels, manufactured mainly in China. Its panels have been installed in Brazil’s football stadiums for next month’s Fifa World Cup and it is looking to expand in the region.

Yingli, the world’s largest photovoltaic solar panel manufacturer, announced yesterday that it will be bidding for work on Dubai’s 100 megawatt solar park project as one of its first forays into the region.

“We see the move towards solar power in the region and we want to be part of it,” said Dimitirios Bachadakis, the managing director of Yingli Green Energy. “We will be bidding on Dubai’s IPP [independent power plant] project. There is a huge move towards solar energy in Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE to name just a few. The conditions are perfect here and, as we have shown supplying 9GW of clean energy worldwide, it is now becoming an energy which can be easily harnessed and managed without the complications of previous years.”

Solar companies around the world are slowly recovering from a deep sector crisis, caused by a glut of equipment that led to a pricing slump over the past five years.

Yingli supplies 9 per cent of the globe’s solar panels, manufactured mainly in China. Its panels have been installed in Brazil’s football stadiums for next month’s Fifa World Cup and it is looking to expand in the region, including in the UAE.

The renewable energy grid connectivity regulations are now in place in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa will need more than US$50 billion in investments by the end of the decade to add as much as 15,000MW of solar-generating capacity, according to the Middle East Solar Industry Association and Meed Insight.

Analysts say Dubai needs to install $100 million worth of solar panels to meet its renewable energy target for Expo 2020, and this target means that it will need to install more than 10 times the capacity of Shanghai’s 4.7MW solar array. International competition to build that solar capacity will be intense; about 150 companies vied for contracts at Dubai’s first solar park, a relatively small 13MW plant.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) last month issued a tender for the 100MW solar park, part of the Dh1bn 1,000MW Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park project.

“By the end of the year it will be possible for domestic users to buy solar panels from hardware stores and hook them up to the grid,” said Ivano Iannelli, chief executive, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence. “Dewa will help you now, regardless of the regulations, off the grid. The entrance of this very large tier 1 manufacturer has to be celebrated, it means the legislative and economic moves of the UAE has incentivised corporations to relocate. With the IPP, 100MW is a very large plant for a single installation. It makes sense for Yingli to be a partner in the venture as it is one of the companies that is focused on research and development and keeps pushing back the boundaries.”

Yingli has set up offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to promote to public and private entities the possibilities of solar energy.

ascott@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights

Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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