I've spent the last couple of days in Abu Dhabi at the World Future Energy Summit. The show is impressive for its size and for the high number of senior level executives and government officials in attendance. I came to spend time with investors and to explore opportunities here for Recurrent Energy's international expansion.
As everywhere these days, the topic of most discussions turned to the financial crisis and its impact on renewable energy. It's clear that we have a ways to go before we see a real recovery in project debt markets--and that will slow near term construction starts on new wind and solar projects. However, there is very strong optimism about the long- and medium-term among investors, policymakers, and industry players.
In particular, the optimism about solar's growth potential worldwide was very high as policy support continues to expand and PV module costs are falling to the point where grid-parity is within reach in many power markets. This mirrors our view at Recurrent Energy. We're fortunate to have the support of our investors who see the current environment as an opportunity. We're accelerating our development of projects in the US and internationally--building our pipeline while prudently managing our construction schedule based on what we see in debt markets.
The Middle East and North Africa region will clearly have a big role to play in our future. There is abundant sunshine, capital, and optimism here that was very apparent. It was nice to meet some of the people involved in Masdar City's 10MW PV project with Environmena, Suntech and FirstSolar. While the policy mechanisms are not quite clear yet, it's obvious there is an appetitite among stakeholders to make the region an important market for solar power. I'm looking forward to my next visit and to deepening our involvement with companies and investors.