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Dubai firm in first Mideast solar panel production

  A Dubai company plans to set up what it says will be the first Middle East plant to manufacture solar panels to tap growing demand for cleaner energy.


Solar Technologies FZE will have the annual capacity to make panels producing 130 megawatts of solar energy, the company’s executive director told Reuters on Monday. “There is tremendous shortage of solar panels in the world and tremendous demand for solar panels in the whole Middle East,” Dilip Rahulan said.

The United Arab Emirates, among the highest per capita emitters of greenhouse gas in the world, has been pushing for more environmentally friendly regulations to tackle rapid economic growth and population expansion. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, has launched the Masdar Initiative, a zero carbon-emitting and zero-waste city, powered with solar panels and wind to be completed by 2015. “People here have already started using solar panels to generate hot water,” Rahulan said. “Solar energy will run everything we use today; it’s only a matter of time.”

The plant, scheduled to start production in the Q4 of 2010, will produce 5.7 square meter (61.35 sq ft) panels for use in commercial buildings and homes. (Reuters)