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Italy brings solar power to Africa, Asia and the Middle East

Italian successful investments to boost energy

Italy brings solar power to Africa, Asia and the Middle East

Claudia Astarita

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Italy ranks among the world's largest producers of electricity from solar power, and its companies are world-class leaders in building solar energy plants all over the world. Africa, Asia and the Middle East are the markets where our entrepreneurs have signed some of the most important contracts in the very recent past. The latest example of how Italian solar energy is expanding in Africa is Swaziland: the small country has significant solar resources to tap, thanks to very high solar irradiance levels, and will benefit from Italian solar power technology where it will use wind mill to ensure a constant supply of electricity.

In the Middle East, even more significant steps have already been made. In April, Italian companies Genesis and Dynkun have signed a memorandum of understanding with officials from Iran's northwestern Qazvin province, for 100 photovoltaic plants of 10 MW each. After the majority of sanctions against Teheran were dropped earlier in the year, the country offers plenty of opportunities for investment, as the potential for solar energy is only beginning to be explored. Such an array of plants is due to be constructed over the next 9-10 years. Mohammad Ali Qasemi, form the Qazvin provincial authorities, explained that "the power plants will cost $1.5bn funded fully by foreign investors."

The largest project is due to be realized in China, where the world's largest plant for the production of thermodynamic solar power is being built using the latest generation of lightweight mirror panels, made by the Veneto-based group, Reflex Solar from Biancade (province of Treviso) and molten salt technology developed by Enea. Reflex Solar will also license for the manufacturing in China of a first tranche of 6 million special mirrors capable to capture the sunrays. The giant plant will have an initial power of 55 megawatts which will later become 2,000 when the project is finished.

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