According to EnergyTrend, a research division of global market research firm TrendForce, the PV markets in Middle Eastern regions are continuing to develop, with top oil producing countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia each showing relevant progresses in the area of planned investments. As EnergyTrend indicates, oil producing countries around the Persian Gulf are showing increasing ambition towards green energy projects, many of which tend to utilize capacities of up to various Giga watts.
Aside from the United Arab Emirate's MAZDAR City, Kuwait has been pushing for a similar development with its Silk City project. The project involves 2GW solar power installation, and places major emphasis on CSP, CPV, and PV technology, which accounts for approximately 30% of installed capacity. As observed by EnergyTrend, while the Middle East has a suitable environment for solar energy development, there are a number of geography-based challenges that serve as issues for future investors. Given the region's relative scarce water resources, the cost of the traditional cleaning method to maintain the module's power efficiency, for instance, is likely to give rise to soaring maintenance costs. On the other hand, as sandstorms tend to be relatively common in desert regions, whether businesses can successfully adapt to these regions becomes another potential issue to consider.
According to EnergyTrend, the Middle Eastern market tends to be preferable for European, the US, and Japanese businesses, but less so for those from China. Various Taiwanese manufacturers are already beginning to invest in the Middle East, and are seeking OEM and partnership opportunities as means to increase their visibility. Taiwanese manufacturers are expected to begin shipping relevant products to the Middle Eastern markets in 2013. Due to the barriers related to technological standards and regulations, manufacturers from China, many of whom rely on low pricing to gain a competitive strength, will have a difficult time entering the Middle Eastern markets.