Saudi Arabia: Future Solar Leader?
Saudi Arabia has launched one of the world’s most ambitious solar-energy programs today. At the Saudi Solar Energy Forum in Riyadh on May 8, officials from the responsible government entity King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) announced long-term development goals as well as a policy framework. By 2032, the oil-rich country plans to generate almost a quarter of its electricity from solar energy, with 41 GW of solar power capacity. Next to the solar targets, plans to build wind, geothermal, waste-to-energy as well as nuclear plants were also announced. This massive program, worth tens of billions of dollars, would catapult Saudi Arabia into the group of global leaders in renewable-energy development.
KA-CARE declared its intention to turn Saudi Arabia into “the Kingdom of Sustainable Energy”. The main objectives of the program are a reduction in oil burned for power production as well as the establishment of a local solar industry and the creation of jobs.
Representatives from KA-CARE not only announced long-term targets, but also a detailed roadmap for the development of the solar market in Saudi Arabia starting immediately. The pillars of the program are at least two competitive bidding rounds for around 5 GW of utility-scale solar projects in total, with the first tenders being prepared currently and to be released in early 2013. The tender rounds will be followed by a feed-in-tariff scheme such as Germany’s successful program.
Saudi Arabia is ideally positioned to become one of the leading solar markets worldwide, with abundant sunlight, a rapidly growing power demand and unparalleled financial strength. Finally, the country is now tapping into this potential. Apricum anticipates that the Saudi program will trigger enormous activities both from international and local Saudi companies.
As a strategy consulting and transaction advisory firm specialized in renewable energy, Apricum has been instrumental in the development of the Saudi solar market, being active in the country for several years. On the one hand, Apricum advises Saudi companies on building comprehensive business development strategies in the solar sector. On the other hand, the firm supports foreign solar companies entering the Saudi market, e.g., by identifying the most suitable local partner company.
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