Saudi Aramco, whose headquarters in Dhahran is pictured, is interested in investing in solar project

Saudi Aramco, whose headquarters in Dhahran is pictured, is interested in investing in solar project

Solar summit to deal with key issues

August 2014

SAUDI ARABIA, which is seriously considering renewable energy to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, is awaiting a summit in Riyadh to discuss the potential of solar energy and what needs to be done to realise it.

Global experts will highlight and discuss key issues surrounding Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy future at the fourth annual Solar Arabia Summit, which takes place on October 27 and 28. The event is described as the kingdom’s longest serving dedicated solar business platform.

Saudi Arabia’s plans to create a solar energy industry by 2032 are now in sharp focus, particularly since domestic consumption of fossil fuels is expected to nearly treble by 2030, if consumption continues at the rate it has over the last five years.

The Saudi renewable energy strategy, managed by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), targets renewable energy to contribute 20-23 per cent of energy needs by 2032 with solar energy responsible for 41 GW of this.

The summit will discuss the practicalities of achieving this crucial target, including the respective contributions of solar PV and CSP, and the policies and incentives required to support the required investment of $109 billion to facilitate a world-class solar industry.

Also on the summit agenda is the smart grid potential and the execution of investment in innovative supporting technologies. The summit will focus on the solar ecosystem of technologies, and the management skills and distribution needed to enhance the rollout of on- and off-grid utilisation.

Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid Al-Falih, said: “We are looking at solar investments with great interest.”

Acknowledging Saudi Aramco’s thought leadership in this field, Gasem Al Shaikh, head of the energy unit at Saudi Bin Ladin Group, said: “The country can’t wait. We are burning more liquids every year, and that’s why Saudi Aramco now is taking the lead.”



The Solar Arabia Summit, organised by French deal facilitation group, naseba, will see pre-scheduled meetings to achieve collaborative agreements that contribute to a sustainable future for Saudi Arabia and preserve non-renewable fossil fuel resources.

Scott Ragsdale, chairman of naseba, said: “naseba has longstanding relationships in the kingdom and, following discussion with our partners here, we have agreed that the timing is right to expand this year’s summit from last year, to facilitate more deal flow. The companies wishing to capitalise on the emergence of this rapidly developing market have proven track records in renewable energy fields and are ready to do business.

“The summit has been organised to boost the kingdom’s renewable energy strategy by providing the right platforms to do business. These include pre-arranged one-to-one meetings, a dedicated area to demonstrate technologies and solutions, panel discussions involving internationally renowned experts, and keynote presentations to aid the knowledge process,” Ragsdale stated.

“These interactive measures will facilitate more meaningful networking time, enhanced proactivity and will ultimately achieve successful outcomes for the sustainable energy future of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

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