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EQ’s Webinar: Middle East Residential RoofTop Solar & Energy Storage Market – Opportunities & Challenges

EQ’s Webinar: Middle East Residential RoofTop Solar & Energy Storage Market – Opportunities & Challenges


Powered by Sungrow, the world’s most bankable inverter company, EQ Magazine hosted a webinar on the ‘Residential RoofTop Solar Market in Middle East Region- Outlook, Opportunities and challenges with special focus on Energy Storage’ on September 2, 2021.

As seen in other economies and world markets, residential storage has three primary drivers- subsidy, Feed-in-Tariff and high residential electricity prices. The speakers shared their insights on the topic discussing related challenges and recommendations.

The keynote speakers of the webinar were Eng. Samah Dasht, Manager Technology Department- JDECO and Ahmed Al- Karaki, Head of Renewable Department- EDCO. Samer Zawaydeh, Carbon Markets National Expert, Jordan participated as the moderator of the webinar.

The panellists included Shield Shi, System Solution Engineer, Sungrow India Pvt Ltd; Elie Maalouf, Operation Manager- Ecosys (Anitg Company); Shyam Yadav, Managing Director- Cleanergize Consultants; Mohammad Zaitawi, Projects Manager (Design & Application Manager)- Philadelphia solar; Sandhya Prakash, Founder & Managing Director- Beacon Energy Solutions & Technology; and Manoj Divakaran, Co-Founder/ Managing Director- Empereal Energy and Services. Check the excerpts of the webinar below.

Eng. Samah Dasht, Manager Technology Department- JDECO, talked about the experience in JEDCO for Residential Rooftops, PV Energy, obstacles, Energy Storage and more. “At the end of 2020, we reached 29 MW for PV solar systems including RoofTops, and, we are now the capacity reaches 35 MW and more. Out of these systems, RoofTop shares 14 MW, which means that we have nearly 50 per cent RoofTop systems from all our PV stations.”

Further, she informed the use of the systems for customers to reduce their use, consumption, electricity, improve their services, the share of JDECO in municipalities, schools and public services, and safety- standards and roles. Highlighting the obstacles for RoofTop, she talked about Initial Cost and Financing, space for the systems, Policies and Regulations, the Electrical Grid, Refugee Camps and Area C.

Talking about the solution to the grid limitation, she said that energy storage is the future of the PV system. “Unfortunately, we are still at the beginning of these systems, especially for the RoofTops. I believe, Storage and Hybrid Systems are the future. Electric Vehicles will enter the market soon, and we have to prepare our systems for handling these technologies. Safety precautions should be taken for batteries in household sectors.”

Concluding her address, she mentioned the importance of finding clean sources of electricity, having electrical energy dependency and encouraging subscribers and investors through law and electricity tariff support. “JEDCO is planning to reach 100 MW at the end of 2030 depending on various circumstances.”

Sungrow is a leader in the research and development of solar inverters and the largest dedicated R&D team in the industry. With a strong 24-year track record in the PV space, it already installed Sungrow products in over 150 countries.

Shield Shi, System Solution Engineer- Sungrow India, shared a presentation on the new product- ‘Next-Gen Residential ESS Solution’. “We are about to launch our Next-Gen Residential ESS Solution for MENA region.” Presenting the Single-Phase Hybrid Inverter- that can connect to the PV modules and batteries, he informed the features and shared details. “Manifold features of this generation of inverters are More Yield, Safe and Durable, Sustainable and Manageable.”

Further, he talked about the ESS Solution for residential applications, an all-in-one package solution and more. Talking about the lifetime of the equipment, he said, “For the inverter, we designed it up to 24- 25 years, and the standard warranty is of 10 years for free.”

Ahmed Al- Karaki, Head of Renewable Department- EDCO, spoke about Jordan- RE, Net Metering, Wheeling, Direct proposals, Scaling up investments in RE, challenges in implementation, technical challenges and recommendation.

“Jordan is the only country in the MENA region that has implemented structural separation of generation, transmission and distribution in the electricity sector. It is the only country in the MENA region that authorizes direct proposal submission for utility supply by independent power producers.”

“Jordan is considered the first country in the Middle East region to successfully launch and finalize public-procurement progress for solar energy. It is also the only region in the MENA region that has established grid codes for distributed utility-scale PV and wind energy systems. Also, private investors could participate in developing renewable energy projects following one of the mechanisms- Net Metering, Wheeling and Direct proposals.”

Speaking about the challenges facing implementation, he discussed economic and financial barriers, technical challenges, market challenges along with political, institutional, regulatory and administrative barriers.

Shyam Yadav, Managing Director- Cleanergize Consultants, introduced his company. “We aren’t contractors, financers or developers, we are consultants, and we’ve been active in this region for past five to six years. We are a homegrown UAE based consultancy with active projects.

The team has over 495+ MW of projects in the region alone. We’ve been fortunate to have access to top-level government and government clients in the region with live running projects on RoofTops, Car Parks Ground Mount and a lot of general studies done across the region.”

Talking about the subject, “Solar has picked up well and, it going at the expected pace considering the region. The policies on standard RoofTop projects are quite clear. The only way to bolster the residential market is to have community-wide projects to play a volume game.

Our focus has been to speak to master developers, area developers, consultants to integrate residential solar plants, along with the community they are planning. Efforts have to be put at the initial stages of the communities which are being developed to have solar integrated. If not, then community-wide programs have to be encouraged.”

Elie Maalouf, Operation Manager- Ecosys (Anitg Company) shared a brief on his company, an overview of the PV residential market in Lebanon, Strengths and Weaknesses, recommendations and some of the ECOsys’ PV residential projects.

“ECOsys is specialized in the photovoltaic systems. We are an EPC and system integrator. Since mid-2021 we are focusing on the residential sector because of the huge demand in the market. We have different types of systems installed in the country. We see a huge opportunity in Lebanon. Awareness and quality control are very important for the long term sustainability.”

Mohammad Zaitawi, Projects Manager (Design & Application Manager)- Philadelphia solar, introduced his company and talked about the optimization of the storage systems into PV in general and residential applications. He highlighted the technical points to be considered and spoke on the regulation status, challenges and opportunities.

Manoj Divakaran, Co-Founder/ Managing Director- Empereal Energy and Services, introduced his company and shared a presentation on solar energy in building design. “We are operations in India, the Middle East and the USA.

We are a design, EPC and O&M company. Over 550 MW of solar projects have been installed, and more than 155 projects are completed across India and the Missle East. We work in all aspects of solar- Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Desalination solutions and Architectural Solar.”

He further spoke on the need for sustainability, energy-efficient design consideration, types of residential buildings for Solar PV, key challenges in the residential projects and more. “Empereal’s vision is to convert the whole outer skin of a building as an active asset for energy production.”

Sandhya Prakash, Founder & Managing Director- Beacon Energy Solutions & Technology spoke about the solar achievements for RoofTops in the Middle East. “In last six years, at Beacon Energy, we became a kind of a lab experimenting with various technologies and evolved a process called MARS, which stands for Monitoring Audit Retrofit and Solar.

The entire thought process was to integrate and come up with a holistic, integrated model combining the demand side of the supply side with energy management and solar. The thought was to benefit the end-user in the industrial segment, residential segment or large projects.”

“In the last five to six years, there has been tremendous activities in the Middle East in the residential sector, medium sector and large-scale. Dubai has been extremely active in terms of regulations well-documented and transparent. Before entering the UAE, one needs to study three things- rules, transparency and returns.”

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network