New report out on future energy scenarios
in the GCC
Apr 3, 2008 - BusinessIntelligence
- Middle East
UAE. With initiatives like MASDAR in
Abu Dhabi and ENPARK in Dubai, the UAE is set to lead
the world in future energy technologies according
to a new report titled 'Future Energy Scenarios -
Exploring the Energy Challenges and Opportunities
in the GCC'.
The paper has been released by the International
Energy Group (IEG), part of the Dubai-based business
conglomerate SS Lootah Group.
The 83-page report puts the spotlight
on 'green' buildings in addition to alternative energy
potential like thin film PV (nanosolar), wind and
The report says that electric cooling
represents 70% of the peak capacity generated, and
presents a host of emerging technologies that will
soon become viable solutions in improving the efficiency
of this sector like solar cooling, distributed generation,
tri-generation and quad-generation (simultaneous production
of power, heat, cooling and desalinated water respectively).
The report also examines reducing green house emissions
in the transportation sector.
2006 was the beginning of a significant
ramp up in company financings in the solar energy
industry and solar IPOs and more importantly, it marked
the beginning of serious financial resources coming
into the solar industry, which will allow the industry
to continue and even expand its current robust growth.
In fact, 2006 could be called 'The Year
of the Solar IPO', with IPO companies coming from
all points on the globe, US, Europe and China. This
industry has incredible growth ahead of it and will
need adequate funding to fuel its growth.
The coming year may mark a very significant
chapter in the history of the renewable energy industry,
the beginning of the transition from the current dominant
technology, crystalline silicon, to the 'next generation'
photovoltaic (PV) technology, thin film technologies.
This year may well be the 'Year of Thin Film Photovoltaics'.
Thin film technologies are various technologies
that have been underdevelopment for the past 15 to
20 years and utilise very small amounts of specialised
materials to create solar panels. These thin film
panels have the potential to produce power significantly
cheaper than today's standard silicon technology.
The panels are usually made in the form
of a monolithic piece of glass, upon which various
thin films are deposited. A number of firms are also
working on depositing various thin film materials
on flexible substrates, such as stainless steel or
There are primarily three types of thin
film technologies that have each been researched for
over 15 years and are the current focus of the solar
Amorphous Silicon (a-Si); Cadmium Telluride
(CdTe); Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS). Amorphous
Silicon has the largest share of the thin film market,
estimated at 64%. It has been researched for the longest
period of time, may be the best understood material
of the three and has been commercial for the longest.
Cadmium Telluride had 26% share of the market and
is ramping up very rapidly, with Copper Indium Gallium
Selenide having a 10% share of the thin film market,
with great potential, but is the least understood
and least developed of the three materials.
Advantages of thin film technologies
over conventional crystalline silicon include lower
cost of production than conventional silicon processes,
lower manufacturing facility cost per watt, it uses
far less material than the amount used in standard
silicon cells. there is lower energy payback (the
amount of time until the product produces more energy
than was utilised in its manufacture), it produces
more useable power per rated watt with sSuperior performance
in hot and overcast climates. There is also the ability
to be attractively integrated into buildings, as Building
Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and it produces the
lowest cost power.
There are a number of public companies
that are working in the area of photovoltaic thin
films. But the majority of these companies do not
have thin film as their primary business. As a result,
they can be divided into two groups, the Thin Film
Pure Plays (companies whose primary business is thin
film photovoltaics) and Thin Film Related Companies
(firms that have a division in thin film, an investment
in a thin film development company or internal R&D
focused on thin film.
Pure plays companies include Ascent
Solar Technologies (using Copper Indium Gallium Selenide),
First Solar (using Cadmium Telluride), Daystar Technologies
(using Copper Indium Gallium Selenide), Power Film
(using Amorphous Silicon).
Thin film related companies include
Applied Materials, Energy Conversion Devices, Ersol
Solar Energy, Q-Cells, Solon and Suntech.
These are not all the companies in the
world working on thin film technologies. However,
they are some of the public companies that have made
significant comments in their annual reports concerning
their work in thin film and consider it to be a key
part of their future expansion strategy.
As a number of thin film technologies
mature,it is likely we will see many additional thin
film pure plays, like First Solar going public to
raise the necessary funding to expand their technology
to address the booming worldwide PV marketplace. The
future of distributed solar electric is rapidly approaching
and it is called Thin Film Photovoltaics.
The report is the first of its kind
where it presents an array of possible approaches
and solutions taking into consideration the geo-economic
and social challenges specific to this region with
a local perspective and accordingly integrates clean
and renewable energy sources with finite energy sources
that provide sustainable performance at a viable cost
Yahya Lootah, President and CEO of International
Energy Group commented: "Green buildings result in
energy savings of up to 70%. The resolution to adopt
green building standards passed by HH Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister
of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is a pioneering step
towards the adoption of advanced energy technologies.
With initiatives like MASDAR in Abu Dhabi and ENPARK
in Dubai, the UAE, guided by visionary leadership,
is set to lead the world in future energy technologies,"
"The future of advanced energy technologies
rests on the sincere collaborative efforts made by
engineers, manufacturers, businesses, environmentalists,
governments and policy makers ,all being equal partners
in this historic task. The UAE has led the region
with a number of pioneering projects in utilising
natural gas to cater to residential, commercial and
industrial energy needs.
"We are proud to have contributed to
these alternative, economic and clean energy infrastructure
projects among others in Asia, Africa and Europe,"
The International Energy Group (IEG),
with its panel of certified experts is the first international
advanced energy technologies alliance operating out
of Dubai and the only private sector entity operating
in this domain.