|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2010
Tom Hardy and Michael Chapnick | (703) 875-4357
NEW SOLAR POWER TECHNOLOGIES WILL HELP MEET GROWING
ENERGY DEMAND IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
USTDA Commits Over $2 Million to Advance Clean Energy Deployment in the Region
CAIRO, EGYPT – Working collectively, the governments and private sectors of the Middle East and North Africa region can greatly increase power production by utilizing modern technologies that will help protect the environment, stimulate sustainable economic growth, and contribute to the health and welfare of society, said the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) during an opening address at the MENA Power 2010 Forum in Cairo, Egypt. This Forum is a direct response to the vision that President Obama outlined in Cairo in June 2009 to develop a "new beginning" in the relationship between the United States and its Muslim partners around the world.
"Realizing the goal of an improved supply of clean energy is as much a challenge in the United States as it is in the Middle East and North Africa," USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak told the region's power sector policymakers and project stakeholders who are attending MENA Power 2010. "In response, U.S. companies are working diligently to develop new technological solutions that address the need to diversify our energy sources to meet the ever increasing demand of our citizens and businesses."
In a continuing effort by USTDA to support the deployment of new clean energy technologies in the region, Director Zak concluded three grant agreements with Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan to advance solar power development. In addition, Director Zak announced an upcoming reverse trade mission to the United States for energy sector officials from Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco.
Facing annual growth rates of 5-6% for electricity demand, the region will need to build new power plants, increase the efficiency of existing plants and transmission and distribution systems, and diversify its energy sources. To address these challenges, more than 30 power projects have been presented in areas such as renewable energy, gas-fired combined cycle power generation, rural electrification, and transmission and distribution upgrades. In addition, U.S. providers of equipment and service solutions have met with regional stakeholders to discuss ways in which their technologies may help in the achievement of these projects.
"The MENA region has a wealth of energy resources, the development of which can contribute significantly to the long-term economic growth and social welfare of the region. There will be many opportunities for USTDA to partner in the region on some exciting new ventures."
"USTDA's recent investments include support for a pilot project for solar energy in Jordan and a geothermal project to provide heating and cooling for a planned affordable housing development in the West Bank," said Director Zak. "USTDA also played an important role in the design of two successful waste-to-energy projects in Morocco."
MENA POWER 2010 is co-hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Egyptian Ministry of Energy and Electricity, in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Department of State.
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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops to support development of modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's efforts create an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.
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