Israel announced in early April 2008 that it would build solar power generation facilities. Arava Power Company plans to develop distributed grid-connected solar farms with a scale of up to 500MW and an investment of up to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Abu Dhabi announced at the end of May 2008 that it had invested more than US$2 billion in the photovoltaic industry, which is one of the largest investments in the solar industry. This investment is used in a three-stage manufacturing and capacity expansion strategy to produce a new generation of thin-film photovoltaic modules. The first phase invested 600 million US dollars to develop two manufacturing facilities. The first is located in Erfurt, Germany and was put into operation in the third quarter of 2009, and the second plant in Abu Dhabi was initially put into production in the second quarter of 2010. The total annual production capacity of these two production sites is 210MW, and the modules produced are used in Europe and the Middle East. Thin film photovoltaics will become Abu Dhabi’s development strategy with a strong position in the field of alternative energy.
Masdar, a renewable energy company in Abu Dhabi, announced on August 22, 2008 the groundbreaking of its first thin-film photovoltaic production plant in Ichtershaus-en, Germany. The investment of 230 million US dollars (150 million euros) is the first phase of Masdar’s US$2 billion (1.3 billion euros) investment in thin-film photovoltaic manufacturing and is one of the largest solar investments to date. When it starts production in the third quarter of 2009, the plant will have an annual production capacity target of 70MW. It will create employment opportunities for more than 180 workers. The plant produces the world’s largest PV modules (5.7m²) and the most powerful, using equipment provided by the world’s leading supplier, Applied Materials.
American Applied Materials signed a contract with Abu Dhabi Future Energy for the construction of three Sun Fab sea film solar module production lines in early June 2008 as part of the Masdar Action Plan of Abu Dhabi Future Energy. These Sun Fab thin-film solar module production lines are expected to have a target annual production capacity of up to 210MW. One of the Sun Fab film module production lines is located in Erfurt, Germany, and was put into production in the second half of 2009. The other two production lines are located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and were put into production in early 2010. , Masdar, a zero-waste city, supplies solar power. The city is designed to use renewable energy to generate electricity. The goal of the Masdar Action Plan is to make renewable energy play a key role in the current and future energy composition of the world.
Mitsubishi Electric Co., Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brunei Ministry of Energy in late August 2008 to build and operate an experimental solar power station in Brunei. The project will last for three years starting in 2010. Mitsubishi Corporation transfers the required technology, trains local employees, and bears the total cost of the project, estimated at 13.7 million U.S. dollars. Brunei is a small and prosperous Sura state, which aims to diversify its energy sources. Brunei relies heavily on oil and natural gas, but these resources are limited. The experimental solar power plant will be equipped with solar panels, with a capacity of 1.2MW enough to power about 400 homes.
Al-Husseini Group and Ame1io Solar Company announced the formation of a joint venture on December 8, 2008 to cooperate with the government and national utilities to build a large-scale 1GW photovoltaic power plant in Jordan, including two integrated 200MW thin-film photovoltaic module production plants , As Ame1io Solar’s thin-film photovoltaic module to supply the low-cost products of the photovoltaic power plant. The joint venture first adopted a manufacturing platform created and set up by Ame1io Solar to configure and operate a factory in Jordan to produce thin-film amorphous silicon, copper-steel ammonium diselenide (CIGS) and related hybrid photovoltaic modules. During the three-year setup period, the plant will reach an annual output capacity of 200MW of photovoltaic modules. At the beginning, a 22MW production line will be completed by 2009. The photovoltaic modules produced by the plant will be mainly used in the photovoltaic power plant built in Jordan designed by Ame1io Solar. The photovoltaic power plant will have a total power generation capacity of 1GW by 2017. The plant will also export photovoltaic modules to Ame1io Solar’s photovoltaic power generation projects in the world.
Conergy Asia Pacific of Germany signed an agreement with King Abdul1ah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia on December 16, 2008 to form a consortium with Saudi National Solar System Corporation to develop a 2MW solar photovoltaic system in Saudi Arabia. The project consists of two rooftop solar facilities. The composition, each of which is 1MW, is set up in the northern and southern laboratories of the university. The photovoltaic facility investment is 11.3 million euros ($15.33 million), which is the first large-scale solar project of its kind set up by the Gulf Cooperation Council (CGCC). It will occupy 11577m² of roof space, with an annual power generation of 3332kW.h.
Kuwait is a member of OPEC and the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, and it is one of the countries with the highest per capita electricity consumption in the world. Although it has 104 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (about 8% of the world’s total oil reserves), this Gulf country often loses power, especially in the hot summer. Due to the increase in energy demand and the use of air conditioners, the Kuwaiti government has announced, It is planned to increase the power generation capacity from 10GW to 16GW in 2012. Kuwait announced on October 20, 2009, that it will achieve the goal of solar energy accounting for 5% of renewable energy by 2020. Kuwait’s solar energy will hopefully benefit from various projects, and it is expected to provide 5% of its energy demand through solar technology by 2020.
The First Energy Bank in Bahrain announced on November 20, 2009 that it would invest billions of dollars to build a large-scale polysilicon production facility in Saudi Arabia, which will be the first of its kind in the region. The project is owned by the First Energy Bank and the Saudi Arabian Industry Group Project Management and Development Company. The device is expected to be put into production in 2013 and is located in the Jubail Industrial City, covering an area of about 375,000 m². The production capacity of high-quality polysilicon will be 7,500 tons per year, and it will create employment opportunities for 400 people. The second phase of the project will be expanded to include investment in downstream sectors, such as the manufacture of silicon bonds, wafers, batteries and modules.