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The Race for Solar

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Middle East Solar Manufacturing Boom Imminent Say Industry Experts

August 22nd 2013

Solar Panels

Energy industry experts are predicting a new solar manufacturing boom next year after an extended slump, and they claim that the Middle East is ranked among the top three leading markets in the industry.

After China went on a massive photovoltaic-making binge, their generic panels flooded the global market, prices plunged, and many businesses in the United States and Europe could not compete.They consequently lost a lot of money, got mad, and walloped solar manufacturers with tariffs.

That malarkey seems to have settled itself, solar manufacturers are bouncing back, and the Middle East, Africa and South America are expected to grow the fastest, Colorado-based industry research group, IHS inc. predicted in a recent report.

Of course, these nations have further to climb so it’s no great revelation that their growth will outpace more established solar markets, but at least there appears to be a strong consensus in the Middle East, Africa and South America that anyone who bets on coal or gas now will land up on the wrong side of natural history.

Climate change is imminent. So are: drought, starvation, and greater political instability, and a host of other unforeseen consequences of pouring more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Saudi Arabia alone is betting $109 billion on solar energy and plan to derive a third of their electricity from clean sources by 2032, reports Quartz. The Kingdom isn’t messing around. They still want to sell off their oil and rake in riches, but at home they’ll live off the sun.

Perhaps the greater danger is this: if we don’t hurry up and get a lot of solar and wind on board now, we are going to grow ever more desperate. When this happens, and probably it already has, we won’t care where it comes from. Let’s just pretend we’re not there yet.

Now for an antidote to that bleak note, here’s the sunny side from Quartz: ”Overall, spending on the equipment for making solar panels and on other capital expenditures is projected to increase 30% to $3 billion in 2014.”

Qatar needs a lot of solar technology to prepare for the 2022 World Cup, Saudi obviously does, and the United Arab Emirates has a healthy appetite as well. Once governments sort out kinks in the incentives program (needed to attract international investors), prepare for the solar mayhem.

Tafline Laylin writes for Green Prophet, from where this article is adapted.

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