Saudi Arabia enters as the ‘green energy’ members in the Middle Eastern Party
As shown in a study published, Saudi Arabia has become one of the pioneers of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area in the quest to use green energy.
The Solar Outlook Document 2020 was introduced at the World Future Energy Summit Solar Forum, a showcase of Abu Dhabi Sustainable development Week (Jan 11-18) this year.
The study, published by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), the largest global body of its kind, said Saudi Arabia and Oman have entered the UAE, Morocco and Egypt as pioneers in the sustainability battle.
“Saudi Arabia is still in the third year of achieving its huge target of generating 60 gigawatts (GW) of sustainable energy by 2030,” it was said.
Martine Mamlouk, MESIA’s chief of staff-general, said investing in renewable energy is clearly apparent across MENA nations. “Saudi Arabia targets nearly 60 gigawatts of renewable energy, 40 gigawatts of which are solar,” she informed Arab News.
“This is in accordance with the Kingdom’s long term growth strategy and the Vision 2030 agenda. While the market is reaching grid parity, it’s exciting to see the introduction of innovative new technology to improve network performance, control demand and infrastructure.”
In the Country, impending solar projects include Madinah, Rafh, Qurayyat, Al-Faisaliah, Rabigh, and Jeddah, Mahd Al-Dahab, Al-Rass, SAAD, and Wadi Ad-Dawasir, together with Layla and PIF.
Based on the most recent data provided by markets analysts Frost & Sullivan, Saudi Arabia’s energy demand has steadily risen, with usage increasing by 60 per cent over the past 10 years. Electricity demand exceeded 62.7 GW in 2019 and is projected to increase by up to 120 GW by 2030.
In the MENA region, the value of solar power projects is projected at between $5 billion and $7.5 billion. By 2024 that number is projected to reach $15bn to $20bn.
Under its Vision 2030 plan, the Kingdom seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels exports, expand its energy mix and leverage its capacity for renewable energy.
With the creation of the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) within the Ministry of Energy, the targets for the Empire’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) were updated upwards in 2018, culminating in a goal of 27.3 GW for five years as well as an aim of 58.7 GW for 12 years.
The Saudi administration wants to invest up to $50 billion in initiatives related to sustainable energy by 2023.
“At MESIA, we are enthusiastic to just see solar innovations in the MENA region accelerate and attain attractive trade barriers while reducing the regional economies ‘ carbon footprint,” Mamlouk retorted.
“MENA’s total investment in sustainability is estimated to be $71.4 billion between 2019 and 2023, reflecting a 34 per cent share of total energy sector spending measured at $210bn.”
Alterations implemented by Saudi Arabia typically involve focusing on local developers and loosening restrictions for solar thermal panel manufacturing companies.
A Regional Advertising and state procurement committee is set up to supervise and inspect enforcement with local content.
Individually, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund has unveiled a Renewable Energy Financing program to support the development of the utilities and decentralized-generation industries.
After photovoltaic solar plates were mounted on the ceiling of a mosque in Riyadh, a similar move was recommended at other mosques by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre.
Moreover, proposals for the Saudi agro-industry’s use of electricity have contributed to the increasing interest in the product, with several industrial plants predicted to have their own systems in the not-too-distant future.
For the sake of kicks and giggles, the Electricity Co-generation Regulatory Authority is researching a regulatory framework to enable exchanges with the power grid.
Adaptable setups, including hydrogen, would provide a greater share of volatile renewable energy in the energy system, Mamlouk added. “Today, it could enable today’s oil and gas importers to become core exporters of renewable energy. The solar industry is excited and proud to be part of this fundamental change in the energy economy in Saudi Arabia.”
Solar tariffs have dropped to record highs rates in the MENA area over the past year, primarily due to considerable cost reductions that have put the target of peak demand within range.
Despite solar electricity deployed remaining at 617.9 GW worldwide, MENA policymakers concentrate on energy sustainability with the aid of huge-scale projects.
In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is aiming to complete a 5 GW plant at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park by 2030.
Abu Dhabi has “committed” its second-largest solar project and is planning more device turn-out by 2025.
Nonetheless, as per Mustapha Taoumi, a policy specialist at the EU-GCC Clean Energy Policy Network, problems exist when it comes to executing programs in remote and remote areas.”We have to start preparing for that with regard to power grid issues and people access, and be ready to receive new technology because there are communities with little education and income,” he replied.
“Then there’s the adoption problem on the part of various stakeholders and industries. Social acceptance is also critical when we come up with new innovations and how to use these (information on).
While this is an interesting time for the country, government agencies will need to step up their efforts as they are still subsidizing the power costs, Takumi responded by saying.
“Innovations are rapidly evolving and decision-making has to compete effectively,” he added. “In two or three years ‘ time, we might end up having smart meters in rural and isolated areas.”