Saudi Arabian leaders turn to international solar experts
- Saudi Arabia: Monday, September 17 - 2012 at 16:39
- PRESS RELEASE
With several Arab nations announcing energy efficiency plans, an influx of interest in solar energy has developed in the Middle East over the last few years.
To meet the demands and goals of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, leading business groups from across the country gathered at the 2nd Annual Solar Arabia Summit, held today in Riyadh, to network and meet prospective partners.
Speaking on the progression of the UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Mohammed Abdulkareem AlShamsi, Senior Analyst Research and Development at DEWA (UAE), said the Government has already allocated 48 square kilometers towards developing solar parks in the country.
The aim "is to develop 10MW by 2013 and a 1GW plan to be achieved by 2030" - both made possible due to the vision and support of His Highness Sheikh Mommahed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai.
Organised by French business information group naseba, the second day of the summit also included a panel discussion moderated by Jan Holthuis, Managing Partner at HIL International Lawyers and Advisors. Panelists include Mohammed Abdulkareem AlShamsi; Yousif Al Ali, General Manager of the Shams Power Company; and David Heinhofer, Chairman, Terra Nex Financial Engineering AG Switzerland, who discussed the barriers faced when developing a solar park.
Yousif Al Ali explained that one of the biggest issues can be making sure the project is properly connected to all the other utilities like water, irrigation and high voltage electricity lines.
Another major barrier can be preparing the land, with Ali noting that "it cost US$ 20-30 million to stabilise and level the land site [for his company's Shams] project."
Attending solar companies included Schneider Electric, AE Photonics, Martifer, Enel Green Power & Sharpe, Ravano and Energes. Saudi Arabian businesses were represented by key figures from Saudi Aramco, Arab Economic Business Group, ACWA Power, Makkah Municipality and Saudi Electricity Company.
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