Joint Forces for Solar: Executive dialogue on the potential of solar energy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The huge potential of solar energy for the MENA region, and specifically Saudi Arabia, is undisputable: With one of the highest solar irradiation levels worldwide, 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. With the "2nd PV Briefing & Networking Forum" in Riyadh, Intersolar Europe, EuPD Research and their local partner the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) are taking account of these changes in energy policy and the opportunities they bring on behalf of the international solar industry.
Alongside questions regarding market development, the potentials of a domestic solar production supply chain and the necessities of subsidization were also on the agenda. In addition to the opportunities offered by the Saudi Solar Energy Program, the event also focused on the necessary on-site engineering, legal and professional services as well as the need for training and education.
Low energy prices have previously hindered the development of alternative energy forms.
Awareness for the subsidization of oil and conventional energy needs to be increased within society. Low market prices stunt the development of alternative energies in various ways. In addition to that, the necessary trend from self-consumption to export of oil and gas was one of the emerging themes during the full-day event. In 2000, 24% of the country's oil and gas production was used to cover domestic needs. In 2010, this share increased to 35% and estimates suggest that more than 40% of the oil and gas production will be required in order to cover the domestic demand by 2020.
Furthermore, domestic oil consumption is expected to exceed oil exports by the year 2025. This trend towards domestic consumption of oil jeopardizes economic growth. "Particularly against this backdrop, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made a huge step in the right direction by introducing a renewable energy program not only to preserve non-renewable fossil fuel resources, but also to ensure long-term global energy market stability", summed up Daniel Fuchs, Senior Manager Global of Joint Forces for Solar.
All the positive momentum the industry currently faces has also been accompanied by the official release of the white paper "Sleeping Giant or Mirage? - The potential of PV in and for Saudi Arabia". In the course of the white paper, the Bonn-based market and opinion research institute EuPD Research, the independent consulting firm Viridis.iQ, and SASIA analyze and evaluate the potential of photovoltaics and other renewable energies in the Kingdom. Further contribution was made by Meyer Burger, SMA, SIC Processing, Singulus Technologies and Air Liquide Middle East & North Africa. The document is now available free of charge online and be downloaded here »
The initiators were thrilled with the course of the event. "We see the dialogue between key stakeholders in Saudi Arabia and the world's leading companies from the renewable energy industry in particularly positive", commented the initiators of the Joint Forces for Solar initiative.
Particular thanks are expressed by the organizers to the co-host and most important local partner the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA), premium sponsors Advanced Electronics Company, Ernst & Young, Manz AG, Meyer Burger Group, Schletter GmbH, SMA, gold sponsors 8.2 Consulting, Baker Botts L.L.P., First Solar, M+W Group, Renewables Academy (RENAC), silver sponsor SunEdison as well as to our exhibition sponsors GeoModel Solar and GT Advanced Technologies for their great support. Further partners were the Electricity & Co-Generation Regulatory Authority, the International Battery & Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA), Dar Global Solar, NUMOV, PVLab Germany, Saudi Arabien AHK, Eversheds LLP and Taylor Wessing. Media partners of Joint Forces for Solar are PV-Tech, pv magazine, Solar Server, Sun & Wind Energy and Renewable Energy World.
Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA)
The Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) is a non profit, non governmental association which aims to promote solar power in the Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East.
The organisation aims to:
Facilitate business opportunities for its members through face to face meetings, workshops and lectures. Expand the use of all solar technologies at national and regional level.
Offer assistance to international solar companies establishing or contemplating the establishment. Publish white-papers and research reports that aim to assist policy-makers on matters related to solar policies, standards, and product certifications.
With events spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners. It unites people and companies from around the world with the aim of increasing the share of solar power in our energy supply.
Intersolar Europe takes place annually at Messe München. It is the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. In 2013, 1,292 international exhibitors and around 47,000 trade visitors attended Intersolar Europe. The exhibition focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage and solar thermal technologies. Since its founding, it has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry. The accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference consolidates the topics of the exhibition. In 2013, more than 400 speakers and over 2,000 attendees discussed current industry topics and shed light on the background of technological, market and political developments.
Intersolar's storied history of international exhibitions and conferences spans more than 20 years. In 2008, Intersolar North America in San Francisco became the second exhibition after Intersolar Europe. This was followed by Intersolar India in Mumbai, Intersolar China in Beijing and Intersolar South America in São Paulo.
Intersolar Europe is organized by Solar Promotion GmbH, Pforzheim and FWTM / Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG.
Joint Forces for Solar
Joint Forces for Solar is a global synergy of stakeholders along the solar value chain. It brings grass-roots knowledge and know-how to a global dimension. A local goes global strategy takes the first hand, insider information installers gain when dealing with customers on a daily basis and utilizes it to shape the future direction of the solar industry. In return, global goes local, installers benefit from access to information on the latest technological developments and changes in market trends giving them the competitive edge necessary for long-term success.
The initiative builds a bridge between the individual links of the value chain and offers a platform where opinions, ideas and expertise can be shared that ultimately strengthen the industry going forward.
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