Call for solar-energy free zone

A solar free zone is needed to boost local manufacture, says Eurostar

Jit Chakravarty of Eurostar.
Jit Chakravarty of Eurostar.

A leading solar-energy player has made a call for a “solar free zone” in Dubai in order to promote a “stronger local supplier base and manufacturing.” This is according to Eurostar divisional manager: solar technical and business development Jit Chakravarty.

With more than 50 companies in the UAE offering various solar-energy solutions, the sector is becoming highly competitive, meaning “competing with operators who, in the absence of any required standards, offer under-designed products,” says Chakravarty.

In the US, for example, the NABCEP PV installer certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which PV installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition. In addition, such certification gives a measure of protection to the public by allowing them to assess the competency of installers.

No comparable certification is required, or even available, in the UAE. Chakravarty hopes that the fledgling solar-energy association being mooted by other major players will be able to address such issues in the not-too-distant future. “There should be a mandatory requirement of standards and certification to keep unhealthy competition at bay,” he says.

Despite the large number of companies involved in the sector, few are involved in PV integration, which is critical for overall system efficiency and optimisation. “Our competitive strength is our strong technical know-how, understanding of the MENA market and our complete package for solar-energy solutions, with the approach of partnering customers at every stage of the project.”

Chakravarty has 25 years’ entrepreneurial experience in the power electronics and energy industry, with ten years’ in solar energy. Eurostar Solar Energy LLC has supplied solar streetlights to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as solar power packs for basic power supply for mosque lighting in Afghanistan, among others.

Read the full interview with Jit Chakravarty in MEP Middle East magazine.

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