Solar power to be main energy source by 2017

Updated 04 July 2013
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Solar power to be main energy source by 2017

Gulf countries are increasingly turning their focus toward clean renewable sources of energy for their power generation, with solar energy set to emerge as one of the region’s main sources of energy by 2017. Already solar power installation projects worth approximately $ 155 billion are in the pipeline with capabilities to generate more than 84 GW of power.
The Gulf countries will be addressing some of the main challenges related to the deployment of energy projects in desert terrain at a high-level industry summit in Dubai later this year.
The summit, called GulfSol 2013, will make its debut at Dubai International Exhibition Center from Sept. 3-5, and will feature government and private sector companies discussing ways of effective deployment of solar projects while also showcasing some of the latest international technologies.
Top agenda at the summit includes discussions on feasibility of solar power projects in remote areas, the wide range of unrealized opportunities in the region for international companies and enforceable regulatory and policy frameworks for implementation of solar projects.
The event is expected to be attended by more than 5,000 participants from the region and around the world and will be accompanied by interactive workshops by industry leaders.
The event assumes added significance given that Abu Dhabi has set a goal of generating 7 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and the state-owned renewable energy company, Masdar, has announced that it will invest up to AED 6 billion in alternative energy schemes alongside the UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB).
“It is apparent that while the solar industry in other areas is struggling, right across MENA, the opportunities are there for companies to get themselves involved with a wealth of opportunities that are presenting themselves. Right now, nothing is hotter for solar than the Middle East,” said Derek Burston, exhibition manager of GulfSol 2013.
“To meet the goals that the GCC have set themselves means expertise will be needed from the international solar power industry to deal with the difficulties involved in construction in desert terrain, including dust, high winds and transmission requirements,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is even more ambitious.
The Saudi government hopes to just about double its installed electricity capacity by building 54 GW of renewable energy (as well as 17.6 GW of nuclear power) by 2032, of which 41 GW will obtained from the sun.
Qatar is also turning to renewables, with a plan on the table to get 10 percent of the electricity and energy used in water desalination from solar energy by 2018.
Kuwait too has ambitions to derive 10 percent of its power requirements from renewable energy sources by 2020.


Bank lending for ‘real economy’ key to boost China growth: central bank official

Updated 4 min 17 sec ago
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Bank lending for ‘real economy’ key to boost China growth: central bank official

  • ‘The central bank doesn’t wish to use administrative methods to require banks (to lend)’
  • Quantitative easing is neither necessary nor possible at the moment

SHANGHAI: China should encourage its banks to support smaller, private firms in the real economy, rather than forced lending or policies such as quantitative easing, a state newspaper quoted a central bank official as saying on Saturday.
“The central bank doesn’t wish to use administrative methods to require banks (to lend),” Sun Guofeng, head of the monetary policy department at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), told the Financial News, a bank publication.
“It wants to establish positive encouragement mechanisms though monetary policy tools to encourage banks to actively increase their support for the real economy, especially toward smaller and privately-owned firms,” Sun said.
The comments come a month after Sun wrote a commentary in which he argued that problems with timely capital replenishment, bank liquidity gaps and poor rate “transmission” are three major constraints on banks’ supply of credit.
In the interview with the Financial News, Sun said monetary policy transmission had “noticeably improved,” showing that steps to enhance transmission mechanisms had been effective.
He said the central bank would increase the strength of innovation in monetary policy tools.
Perpetual bond issuance “is only one breakthrough” in reducing capital constraints on banks, Sun said, adding that “other methods” could be used in the future.
He said that quantitative easing was neither necessary nor possible at the moment, noting that under China’s financial system the significance of the central bank buying Chinese treasury bonds on the secondary market is limited, and that the PBOC is barred from buying the instruments on the primary market.
China’s banks made the most new loans on record in January following a series of moves to boost lending as authorities try to prevent a sharp slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.