Major forum to spur solar energy push

Initiatives that will enhance Bahrain’s efforts to tap into solar energy investments will be discussed at a major forum scheduled for next month.

Researchers, scientists and experts from universities, private firms and institutions around the world will gather at the Solar Technology Energy and Environment in Bahrain (STEEB) Conference, which will be held under the patronage of Electricity and Water Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza from September 17 to 19.

Ready

Details of the conference – which will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre and organised by Arab Gate Expos (AGE), MEPEX and the Solar GCC Alliance – were revealed at a Press briefing yesterday.

The briefing was held at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and attended by senior businessmen and government officials.

“We are glad that we are ready to launch the first investment forum for energy, a major qualitative step in the international conference industry, aimed at attracting investments,” said AGE chief executive Amira El Hassan.

“STEEB will be addressing the challenges and opportunities related with reducing energy consumption and production.

“The three-day forum will consist of three main events; the investment forum, an exhibition and the conference, and a Business to Business (B2B) networking session.

“We hope to see interested parties putting forward pilot projects on the topic, workshops which will help in experience and skills sharing, as well as roundtable discussions.

“The exhibition and conference will see the participation of major companies working in the field of energy in co-operation and the B2B will explore business possibilities.

“It will be a platform for Bahrain to enhance its efforts in tapping solar and other renewable energy resources as well as to discuss ways to overcome the challenges in the field.”

AGE exhibition adviser Mahesh Bhatia said they were liaising with foreign embassies in Bahrain to ensure maximum international participation.

“We have approached the German Embassy as well as all other major embassies and we hope to see a good international participation at the event,” he said.

“The forum, which is the first of its kind in terms of exploring investment possibilities in the field, will be of great interest to Bahrain.

“We want to showcase Bahrain’s rich potential as an investment target and we aim to offer a platform for interested parties to meet and interact.”

World Renewable Energy Network (Wren) director general Ali Sayigh previously said that it was realistic to expect Bahrain to generate 20 per cent of its electricity from the sun by 2020.

A project by the Electricity and Water Authority to allow homeowners to install solar technology in their homes to generate their own power is expected to begin in the next few months.

Dr Mirza previously said it could result in savings of up to $270 million a year.

Last October, he revealed a five-year plan aimed to power all street lights in the country by solar energy and said new solar-powered LED lighting would replace existing bulbs.

The GDN also reported in May that the first phase of installing photo voltaic (PV) solar panels at mosques, ma’atams and Quran learning centres will begin soon.

The project has been given the green light by Dr Mirza and Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa.

raji@gdn.com.bh

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/248690

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