Bahrain Bourse falls    A delegation of Caucasus Muslims visits King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa    KSA Provides 2 Million USD to Islamic Organization for Food Security    Saudi Press: KSA's Attractive Investment Environment    Asian markets mixed    Israeli forces arrest 22 Palestinians in West Bank    Command of Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Intercepting and Shooting Down A Drone Launched by Terrorist Houthi Militia from Saada towards KSA    Bahrain Bourse falls    Six Flags Qiddiya Unveils Park Design    SAGO to Import 780,000 Tons of Feed Barley    Lampard earns first win as Chelsea boss at Norwich    Saudi Youth Basketball Team Defeats UAE in the Gulf championship    Saudi Table Tennis Team Won 4 medals, during West Asian Championships    Saud Al-Haqbani Crowned with the Spanish Friendly Tennis Championship Shield    FAO Regional Director for Communication commends KSA for services for pilgrims    Al-Azhar Undersecretary praises KSA's services for pilgrims    SFDA Co-signs MoU with Bahraini National Organization for Regulation of Occupations, Health Services    Haifaa Al Mansour Represents Saudi Cinema at the Venice International Film Festival    A New Medical and Scientific Achievement to Serve Ophthalmology in KSA and the World    Neonate life is saved after successful Encephalocele operation    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Addresses Citizens and Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr    Custodian of Two Holy Mosques addresses Citizens and Muslims on the Advent of Holy Month of Ramadan    Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Launches Awareness Message on Sacrifice Day    Custodian of Two Holy Mosques addresses the Saudi people and Islamic nation on the blessed Eid Al-Fitr    Newcastle Beat West Ham 3-0 for their first Win of the Season    Mourinho insists Ibrahimovic must be good enough for Manchester United    Reforms have saved the economy from possible recession, say analysts    The King and Crown Prince congratulates Moldova's President    More than 1,5 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia, so far    MWL allocates SR 7 million for Eid sacrifice project in 47 countries    Saudi Campaign provides educational and training services for Syrians in Al-Za'tari camp    Saudi student goes missing in Kentucky, US    Harvey lashes Texas US coast with high wind, torrential rain    North Korea tests short-range missiles as South Korea, US conduct drills    Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given five-year jail sentence for bribery    Known days    "MODON" Signs MoU with Chinese Goldwind Company for wind-turbines manufacturing in the Kingdom    Flyadeal, Saudi Arabia's new low-cost airline, scheduled to launch on September 23, reports    Mastercard launches Masterpass in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia    Honda among 27 Japan players named for World Cup qualifiers    Joker, Harley Quinn movie in works with 'Crazy Stupid Love' filmmakers    Madhuri Dixit to venture into Marathi films as a producer    Consumers warned against using some brands of face powder, hair products    How 'GOT' makers made the frozen lake in 'Beyond the Wall'    Shraddha Kapoor wants people to help the needy    Neymar targets improvement after phenomenal home debut    Politicizing the pilgrimage    Rakhi 2017: "Bond of Love" between a brother and his sister    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

GCC era of solar energy arrives
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 05 - 2015

JEDDAH — The era of solar energy has finally arrived, the CEO of Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power believes.
“Fast forward to 2020, if we're going to have this discussion, I'm absolutely convinced that people will look back and say 2014-15 was the point of inflection. That's when solar became mainstream. I think we have just turned,” Padmanathan said in an article published in Arabian Business Sunday.
In the last two years, he has signed multi-billion-dollar deals in Morocco and contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the UAE and South Africa and now has an asset portfolio with an investment value in excess of just over $27 billion.
The change, he said, comes down to financial sense, citing DEWA's $330 million solar power station, which is all set to be completed in April 2017.
“This is the period during which the price levels have come to a point where it has become cost competitive. The proof of the pudding is here in Dubai. They start off with a 100-megawatt [MW] tender, saw the price, said it was a compelling case, and doubled the procurement,” he added.
“The plan was to develop 1,000MW in stages over five to eight years. The second project of 800MW — one project — is coming before the end of this year. By the end of this year, there's a very good chance that the whole 1,000MW will be spoken for. They have started to immediately revise their targets and to think about buying more solar.”
The financial sense in the discussion comes right back to the basic measurement of how much it costs to produce electricity, in terms of cents per kilowatt hour. Five years ago, Padmanathan said the conversation would have been completely different.
“An average price for [gas] power generation would be 8 cents per kilowatt hour, as a point of reference. Up to five years ago, the average price of solar energy would have been 50 cents; even as recent as two years ago, it was 15 cents,” he added.
“You could have alternatively generated it at 7 cents using gas two years ago. Quite frankly, from a cost competitiveness point of view, it didn't make sense to talk about renewable energy. But today, where it [solar] has now come to 6 cents, the story is completely different.”
The solar energy provided at 6 cents provides the power during the heavier daytime use hours only, he said, because ACWA can't supply solar energy at night using photovoltaic technology because there is no way of storing the energy.
“We can using concentrated solar power, which uses molten salt storage, another more sophisticated technology, but the cost of that is still around 14c,” Padmanathan noted.
He said the big difference between solar and fossil fuel is that the biggest component of the cost of the fossil fuel electricity with comes from the fuel cost, which can fluctuate.
“With solar energy, you have built the plant and spent the money, the energy comes free and there is no price volatility, so I'm able to commit to a fixed price for 20 to 25 years,” he noted.
Demand for renewable energy has been strong in the region, Padmanathan further said. Dubai could end up in about 20 years with a grid of 20,000MW, with 5,000-6,000MW of that coming from renewable energy.
“Jordan has hesitantly started to step into renewables, unsure whether it will be price competitive. Now they're seeing the projects coming through, and the speed of deployment, they can't get it out fast enough. Egypt I fully expect will embrace more and more renewable energy, wind, CSP [concentrated solar power],” he pointed out.
The kingdom's plans had centered around King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy — Ka-Care — a $109 billion plan to provide 40,000MW of additional power generation capacity from solar power, and another 21,000MW from geothermal and wind power by 2032.
“They (Saudi Arabia) are completely convinced of the renewable energy story and that it has a part to play in the fuel mix. That's not a debate that needs to be initiated. The only questions now: how much, how fast and how do we do it, and extract as much value out of it,” he added. — Agencies

Clic here to read the story from its source.