Is UAE Leading the Way for Concentrated Solar Power in GCC?

By Sania Aziz Rahman
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 9 2019 – In April 2019, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a report on a “roadmap to 2050” in terms of renewable energy.

The report highlighted the possibility that by 2050, about 86 percent of the world’s power demands could be met by renewable power. It also highlighted that 50 percent of global electricity production could be provided via renewable energy sources.

What could this mean for the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

First of all, there seems to be a massive shift in the region’s policies towards economics, and subsequently, technology. The UAE for one has initiated the Vision 2021 programme, which includes sustainability as one of the country’s major goals – and seems to be taking it quite seriously.

The country has set a target of achieving 30 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030. That might not be as ambitious as Denmark – a country that has slightly lesser GDP than the UAE, but has still set a goal to achieve 50 percent of its energy from wind power.

Still, the UAE is leading in the region, especially when it comes to concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. The UAE was, until recently, the only country to have that technology in the GCC.

CSP refers to a type of solar technology that uses giant mirrors to direct sunlight on to a receiver, which converts it into heat. There are several types of such mirrors, they can parabolic troughs or rounded dishes, or power towers.

Concentrated solar power can be a lot more effective than solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. This is because PV uses solar panels that
can only work when there is sunlight, meaning electricity can only be generated as long as sunlight falls on the panels.

CSP on the other hand, stores the sunlight as heat, which can be used at a later time, and even when there is no sunlight. In effect, CSP works like any other thermal power plant.

The only difference is that the heating material for all other thermal power plants is fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. In nuclear power plants, the heating agent is usually uranium.

Susan Kraemer, news editor for, an international network for CSP research, told IPS that, “(CSP) has a built-in advantage over PV, which is that as a thermal power source, it can store its solar energy cost effectively in large tanks of molten salts and therefor is a form of solar able to deliver its solar energy round the clock, not just while the sun shines.”

A solar farm made up of PV panels would have to add a battery, to provide dispatchable energy like CSP.” The batteries, Kraemer said, have a limited cycle life, and would have to be changed regularly, whereas CSP as thermal storage can be recycled indefinitely.

However, CSP does come with one disadvantage. It is more expensive than PV technology.

“The added complexity makes CSP more expensive to build than PV. However, some value in combining the two, to get both advantages: CSP is cheapest night time solar and PV for cheapest daytime solar.”

The UAE was the first from the GCC countries to get CSP technology, and is currently the only country in the GCC to have actual electricity generation through this. The UAE has had CSP since 2013 – with an installed capacity of 100 MW and electricity generation of 261 GWh.

The UAE seems to be pioneering the development of CSP within the GCC countries, with one of biggest investments being the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. It boasts to be the world’s largest single site solar park – and aims to achieve 1000 MW capacity by 2020 and 5000 MW by 2030.

The owner of this park is Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). It will, DEWA claims, have both PV and CSP technology, along with a research centre, and a solar powered water desalination plant.

It is difficult to gauge exactly how many homes this can power because solar megawatts depend on the amount of sunlight it receives, and the angle at which the receiver is set.

However, some statistics can help. For example, Masdar states that its 10 MW and 1MW solar power plant and rooftop panels can power 500 homes for a year. How does this compare to other countries in the world?

Worldwide, there are only 19 countries to have installed capacity for concentrated solar power. Below is a comparison of the countries.

Saudi Arabia only recently acquired this technology in 2018 – although it has not produced any power. Its installed capacity stands at 50 MW.

Meanwhile, the other GCC countries are either in process of developing CSP or considering CSP options. Kuwait completed its first CSP power plant in May 2018, while Oman will have its first CSP run electricity grid by 2023.

Helsinn and Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical together announce the launch of ALOXI® IV in China and a Co-Detailing collaboration in Shanghai

Helsinn and Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical together announce the launch of ALOXI IV in China and a Co–Detailing collaboration in Shanghai

Lugano, Switzerland, and Beijing, China, May 9, 2019: Helsinn Group, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care products, and Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical, the Chinese market leader of pain management, today announce the availability of ALOXI IV in China.

This is Helsinn's first cancer supportive care product to be launched in the Chinese market, and for which Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical has exclusive marketing, promotion and sales rights. This product was approved by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in November 2018.

The launch of ALOXI IV in China, has also seen the initiation of a long co–detailing collaboration with Helsinn Pharmaceuticals (Beijing) Co., Ltd. in the municipality of Shanghai for ALOXI IV and other future cancer care products in the Chinese market.
Andrea Meoli, Helsinn Group Chief Commercial Officer, commented: "ALOXI IV is the first cancer supportive care product that we make available to Chinese patients. Since its launch in the other countries, ALOXI has been effectively used for the prevention of CINV, helping to define the standard of care for the condition, and we are delighted that it is now becoming available to patients in China. We are pleased to be collaborating with Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical, a strategic partner, in introducing this product in China and co–detailing it in Shanghai and thereby helping patients in China to benefit from this treatment option."

"The Launch of ALOXI IV identifies expansion of strategic cooperation between Helsinn and Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical." Said Peter Wang, General Manager, Mundipharma Pharmaceutical Greater China, "I believe there will be more CINV products with cutting–edge technologies to be brought into China market through the joint efforts of both sides, which will benefit more Chinese cancer patients."


About ALOXI (palonosetron HCI)

For China:

ALOXI injection 0.25 mg/5 ml was approved on November 8th, 2018 in China and is indicated in adults for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, and prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting associated with moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy. It is also indicated in pediatric patients aged 1 month to less than 17 years for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, including highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy.

About the Helsinn Group

Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with an extensive portfolio of marketed cancer care products and a robust drug development pipeline. Since 1976, Helsinn has been improving the everyday lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality. The Group works across pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and nutritional supplements and has expertise in research, development, manufacture and the commercialization of therapeutic and supportive care products for cancer, pain and inflammation and gastroenterology. In 2016, Helsinn created the Helsinn Investment Fund to support early–stage investment opportunities in areas of unmet patient need. The company is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with operating subsidiaries in Switzerland, Ireland, the U.S., Monaco, and China, as well as a product presence in approximately 190 countries globally.

To learn more about Helsinn Group please visit

About Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical

Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical was established in the year of 1993 and has been dedicated to the organic growth of the pain segment in China for decades. "Bring More to Life" is our aspiration; caring for lives and serving the society is our social responsibilities. Innovation, patient–centric, and entrepreneurship are in our DNAs.

In the future, Mundipharma China will continue to explore in pain management field and expand its business into new fields, including CINV, transplantation immunology, oncology, respiratory, consumer health and etc. We'll make unremitting efforts to providing innovative products and fulfilling our social responsibilities, ultimately to realize our vision of "Bring More to Life".

For more information, please refer to:

For more information:

Helsinn Group Media Contact:

Paola Bonvicini

Group Head of Communication

Lugano, Switzerland

Tel: +41 (0) 91 985 21 21

Email: Info–

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Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical Contact:

Kylie Gao,

PR Director

Beijing, China

Tel: +86(10) 6563 6785