'Upstart' solar association in creation

Group of biggest players look to capitalise on recent big projects

Masdar has been helpful for companies in solar products
Masdar has been helpful for companies in solar products

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An ‘upstart’ association for solar power providers in construction is currently in its earliest stages of creation.

Insiders told CW that some of the leading product developers have been involved in the first five meetings, including representatives of SOLE UAE Solar Systems and Environmena.

It will be the first multi-company association for solar power in the region and comes on the back of government initiatives such as the Green Leaf Building scheme adopted by Dubai in 2008 from the US, and recent high-profile projects such as the $50 million solar plant to power the construction of zero-carbon Masdar City and the water heating technology in Burj Khalifa.

Now the leading players are making initial efforts to formalise this breakthrough into the construction landscape with its own body.

Sander Trestain, vice president – technical, at Abu Dhabi-based Enviromena – which raised $15 million in January from equity and equity warrants and now include Masdar, Good Energies and zouk Ventures as shareholders, explained: “If you look back five ago there was no discussion of solar power. Now however there is interest from the government.

“There’s an upstart solar association – or rather a group in discussion to form an association.”

Another source at a Europe-based solar company looking to make headway in the Middle East, added: “All of us are working hard and we see the industry is looking to go in that direction. We hope that the initiatives from the government will be a stepping stone. There have been five meetings so far. Masdar has been very helpful at this stage."

It is believed the association is yet to be named.

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