STS News

Jan 2023

World Future Energy Summit (WFES 2023)

We attended the World Future Energy Summit 2023 in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

Three take-aways from Frédéric Dross, Executive Vice-President of Business Development, STS:

1) The UAE and Saudi Arabia have been investing for decades in sustainable solutions. The Masdar City initiative, for instance, is already 15 years old. The UAE pledge to net zero in 2050 is only a year old and it’s today trickling down to all players, big and small, at the approach of the #cop28uae. Renewables are simply on the very top of everyone’s agenda today.

2) Every solution is considered to improve the energy mix. By 2040, the MENA region is expected to become the world’s second-largest electrolyzer’s installer for the production of green hydrogen (from solar).

3) The regional environment is harsh on solar panels. We heard of very large projects affected by module failures and high degradation rates. This is again no surprise for everyone having looked at the physics (or chemistry) of solar modules. All these degradation modes are thermally activated, with the rule of thumb indicating a doubling of the degradation rate for every additional 10C in average operating temperature. Maintenance costs are also painfully higher than originally expected, as the need for on-site inspection grows. There is no more cost-effective way than capturing quality issues during manufacturing inspections. Building a module durable despite the harsh environment requires serious quality control.