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Middle East discovers Solar Thermal Technology
Valuable business contacts: Robert Welling with his company Tisun was the only solar thermal manufacturer from Europe at the fair in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in the middle of January.
"It was the most expensive fair we’ve ever joined, but also one of the most successful ones,” Robin M. Welling says about the World Future Energy Summit 2009 in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which took place in the middle of January. Welling is partner and managing director of the Austrian solar collector and tank manufacturer Tisun GmbH. He was the only European manufacturer of solar thermal systems who showcased his products in Abu Dhabi. More than 200 companies occupied around 20,000 m2 of exhibition area and attracted 15,000 visitors.
The growth rate was enormous, compared to the first World Future Energy Summit with only 11,000 visitors. Since its founding in 1989, Tisun focuses on increasing its share of exports. Three quarter of the almost 100,000 m2 of collector area produced in 2008 were shipped abroad. The company opened a new office in New Jersey, USA, in the second quarter of 2008. “We already have twelve sales reps in the Middle East,” says Welling. He signed his company’s first larger contracts at the fair in Abu Dhabi, with more than € 200,000 for installing solar thermal systems in the region.
The Masdar Initiative is what makes the region famous for renewable energies. Masdar is the name of a sustainable zero-carbon and zero-waste city which is to be constructed 17 km off the city of Abu Dhabi. It is an initiative by the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with a planned budget of US$ 22 billion. The model city should provide housing for about 50,000 citizens. “The organisers of the Masdar initiative discovered solar thermal technology very recently,” states Tisun’s managing director. Since today it seemed that the Masdar would become a PV demonstration city.