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Of all the MENA nations with stated intentions to implement solar power, the most largest announcements by far have been made from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to the announcements, the government has also taken first steps and introduced a support scheme to realize these ambitious-sounding goals.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Saudi Arabia grew by 6.8% in 2012. The observed economic growth goes hand in hand with an increasing electricity demand. As a result, an increasing share of oil production is required for domestic electricity generation. Due to the high solar irradiation PV is a cost competitive alternative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Oil and gas powered plants can be utilized flexibly and therefore match the volatile renewable generation patterns. Solar has a huge offsetting potential: Oil which is currently used for domestic electricity generation can be sold on the world market instead.
The benefits of the deployment of the renewable program will not be limited to cost efficient power generation alone. Saudi Arabia will further ramp up a local PV manufacturing industry: The closing of existing gaps in the c-Si PV value chain (i.e. the establishment of a production for metallurgical silicon and solar cells) will lead to many benefits for the involved partners. When choosing the right technology path, region-specific characteristics could be taken into account to reveal attractive niche markets. Four cost categories determine the viability and competitiveness of a distributed or co-located integrated PV cluster: local procurement conditions, labor costs, depreciation on fixed assets and long-term electricity prices which are amongst the lowest in KSA.
Besides creating direct and indirect jobs within the country, the social benefits will also be increased by spill-over effects on adjacent industries. Long-term educational benefits are likely to arise in academic fields as well that could help KSA to develop a unique know-ledge basis and take the leading position within the region.
1. Status and Outlook of the PV Market in Middle East (Focus: Saudi Arabia). The opening sessions will focus on the market developments in key markets of the Middle East with special focus upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Analyses will be based on profound local expertise and the next steps for a sustainable renewable energy implementation are outlined. High-level keynote speakers will also address topics, such as the potential for local job creation, skill-set development and distinct advantages of a diversified industrial segmentation profile. Moreover, the concurrent panel will discuss requirements to successfully build an efficient supply chain in Saudi Arabia and address the fundamentals for partnerships between domestic and international organizations.
2. PV Power Plants – A Tailor Made Approach. This session exclusively concentrates on utility-scale PV power plants, and is aimed at system integrators, distributors, project developers, top planners as well as investors. Global leaders will share their vision and experiences on what is needed to achieve sustainable market development. Taking special regional requirements into consideration, delegates will learn about crucial elements to maximize output including technological requirements, maintenance and logistical challenges.
3. PV Financing Models in Saudi Arabia. There are a multitude of factors that have to be taken into consideration when assessing the ROI of a solar project. The overall objective of this session is to demonstrate potential financing mechanisms tailored to the needs of the Middle East region. Besides outlining investment opportunities and hurdles, the session will examine the expectations and risk appetite of investors in the sector. Furthermore, panelists will debate on most suitable financing schemes for the region and how investors’ confidence can be enhanced.
4. Opportunities in Regional PV Production. The PV production session will highlight the opportunities and risks of industrial solar manufacturing in the Middle East. International speakers cover key issues, such as local value proposition through direct and indirect job creation, increasing depth of integration and educational benefits that are likely to arise for mechanical and chemical engineering, semiconductor physics and manufacturing operations. First-hand knowledge will be shared by means of case studies, where speakers will build the bridge to reality by presenting latest advancements in PV production processes to drive down costs and increase efficiency.
5. Region-specific Applications and Business Models. There are a wide range of opportunities on offer all along the value chain for local companies wishing to enter the burgeoning solar market in the Gulf region across market segments from utility-scale to off-grid installations. Several examples of business models and key feasibility measures, both economic and technical, will be presented. The session will address the interests of local Saudi and other Gulf region companies – investors, manufacturers, distributors and developers, who are contemplating entering the solar industry, but are hesitant about its viability.
Dedicated to the development of the solar industry, Intersolar Summit Middle East mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of all solar technologies at national and regional level, and strengthen local solar industries.
By means of regional conferences and business networking events, the Intersolar Summits help companies to establish a foothold and expand their operations in developed as well as growing and emerging markets.
The Intersolar Summits are an ideal and cost-efficient way for companies to explore new business opportunities, expand their network and ultimately boost sales on a regional level. Join us for our upcoming events and become part of our continuously growing solar community!