MENA Solar Brief
new feature: MENA Wind Brief
introducing the Saudi Arabia Wind Industry Association (SAWIA)

September 2017 - issue 1709
Solar News     Solar GCC Alliance    SASIA      ESIA      QSIA    OSIA    KSIA      BSIA    JSIA     MSIA  EGYPT-SIA  PSIA SAWIA
Feature publication : Sun Towards High Noon
Solar Power Transforming Our Energy Future

Peter F. Varadi's first book described the birth of the solar industry and its growth up until 2013. He recruited an team of internationally recognized contributors for the sequel.  SUN TOWARDS HIGH NOON: SOLAR POWER TRANSFORMING OUR ENERGY FUTURE guides us through the industry today.  Varadi explains that Big Oil's day is over.
"The Paris agreement makes it clear that the world will not turn back on serious global warming policies ... (Oil companies) are not going to control our lives; they will have to compete like every other industry is doing."

There are sections devoted to government policies, personal and corporate financing, electrical energy storage, mini-grids, community solar, solar used in desalination, and a variety of  other topics.

Publisher's Note:

Meteoric Rise of the PV Continues - Fourth act in PV history

Saudi Arabia relaunches renewable energy program under REPDO , What's next ?

Micro-grids and solar diesel hybrid solutions in GCC

Welcome back from your summer holidays. This month we feature an end of  summer reading title "Sun Toward High Noon - Solar Power Transforming Our Energy Future" by Peter Varadi.   This is a follow-up to his previous book, "Sun Above the Horizon", that provided an interesting narrative of the history and development of solar energy, which became a significant supplier of the world's electricity needs. Renewable energy (New Energy) are major factors influencing the current political, financial, social and industrial revolution. The progression of renewable energy in world energy markets will only accelerate the 4th Industrial Revolution and Internet of Things (IoT).  Read the book and learn more about the 4th Act in the history of PV.  
While the sun baked the MENA landscape during the summer months there were several major solar developments to report. The UAE Government announced the
record breaking result of the DEWA 200 MW CPS  
with lowest international bid of USD 9.45 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h). It remains to be seen if this event marks the rebirth of CSP and the concept of 24 hour solar power.  Watch this  webinar: "What the 9.45 US$ cents CSP bid means to the Mena region".

The Shams Dubai Rooftop solar program continues to struggle to gain traction in the private sector. Recent press announcements stated that  "solar rooftops in Dubai double in less than a year". More than 200 new buildings have been equipped with solar power since November with a total capacity of 15.6 megawatts. The majority of the MW's installed are on Dubai government owned buildings. Private residential solar installation are limited due to poor ROI as a result of low subsidized electricity prices and high soft costs.

Saudi Arabia is the only place in the world where housing accounts for up to 50% of total power consumption. The Gulf region's energy subsidies have reached $160bn per year, of which Saudi Arabia alone accounts for anywhere between 50% and 75%.  The current low oil price has forced Saudi to look more seriously at solar energy and reduce power subsidies in the Kingdom as the government embarks on the National Transformation Plan (NTP) and Vision 2030. 

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) was formerly launched  within the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources in April 2017, when the 1st Round 300 MW Solar and 400 MW Wind tenders were announced.  The REPDO reports to a committee, chaired by H.E. the Minister that is tasked with overseeing the delivery of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP). The committee brings together heads of the various Kingdom stakeholders involved in energy research, measurement, data acquisition, regulation and predevelopment including, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).  While REPDO program tenders have caught the attention of the global industry, local Saudi companies are still unclear how they can participate in these tenders. See: New Energy Update Interview.

According to a recent Eversheds LLP report approximately 20% (this considers off grid generators consuming diesel fuel at transport prices) of the Kingdom's fuel consumption for electricity derives from diesel which is the most expensive fuel for the production of electricity. It is often utilized in remote areas where access to the central grid is not possible and will often come with high transportation costs. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the introduction of solar PV makes economic sense particularly as PV prices continue to decline whereas diesel prices are expected to rise quite significantly if historic subsidies are removed.

Although PV diesel hybrid solutions may be the most efficient option from a market point of view, in Saudi Arabia they remain an untapped opportunity due to current diesel subsidy program which distorts the ROI potential for the investment. Under the current KSA diesel fuel subsidy program pricing it is not possible to demonstrate the economic competitiveness of PV-Diesel hybrid systems . Diesel in KSA is currently sold at USD 0.088 cents for utilities/industry and 0.12 for transportation and varies slightly depending on site location of the genset. In July K.A.CARE issued an RFP for a PV Diesel Hybrid Pilot with the objective to stimulate the localisation of PV installation for hybrid projects in Saudi Arabia. I do not see any market adoption unless the diesel prices are increased or an alternative financing mechanism is established.  ECRA has recently released the official regulations for a PV Net Metering program that will become effective in July 2018. While this is encouraging news we will not see any private sector solar project development under the program until Q3 2018. Bloomberg recently reportedthat Saudi Arabia had decided to delay energy subsidy cuts further delaying the potential for distributed generation (DG) solar to expand.

Despite its tremendous potential, solar energy sector in Saudi Arabia is still in early stages. "Saudi Arabia is yet to turn its huge solar potential into reality", says Makio Yamada, Research Fellow at King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (Riyadh).

While competitively tendered IPP projects will continue to drive the region's largest renewable projects, some of the region's governments have been implementing alternative frameworks and policies to kickstart renewable energy programs on a smaller scale. The implementation of a well-structured feed-in-tariff (FiT) programme) in Jordan has allowed Amman to develop significant renewable energy capacity which created local jobs with cost effective tariffs. Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned here.  
Browning Rockwell
Executive Director, Solar GCC Alliance

Saudi Arabia Wind Industry Association (SAWIA) launched
In response to the the REPDO Wind Energy program announcement, we have established the 1st Wind Industry Association in the GCC. We are looking for members and partners. 
Membership details: Contact:

Follow us on Twitter @SAWIAWind
Saudi Arabia Wind Supply Chain Directory 
Please register your interest by completing our survey.    

Tender: Saudi Arabia Announces Qualified Companies for Round 1 of National Renewable Energy Program - 400 MW Wind

Modon signs MoU with Goldwind for wind-turbines manufacturing in Saudi.

More wind power ahead as Arab world looks to diversify its energy mix, Vestas says.

Solar GCC Alliance Partner News 
  Bahrain-SIA launched :
The Solar GCC Alliance formed an affiliate partner known as the Bahrain Solar Industry Association (BSIA)

This organization will seek to create new solar energy business and employment opportunities in Bahrain and enable collaboration opportunities throughout the GCC region.

BSIA is an official partner in the upcoming STEEB 2017 conference and exhibition on Sept 17-19, 2017.

For more information, contact:

Local contact:
Vadlamudi Padma Raghu
Hon. Country Representative
Bahrain Solar Industry Association (BSIA)
Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: 973 3605 3125/39085023 (Bahrain)
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Save the Date -
Sept. 10 -13 (USA)
SPI - Solar Power International
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Sept. 17-19, (Bahrain)
Bahrain Exhibition Centre

Sept. 25-27 (UAE)
Gulf Glass 2017
Dubai Exhibition Centre

Sept. 26 - 27 (UAE)
Intersolar Middle East
Conrad Dubai, UAE
Contact Us
Why Solarcoin ? - Credit given to solar energy producers
Why Solarcoin ? - Credit given to solar energy producers

Today's Market Cap
Global - MENA - GCC countries:  
Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems

Economist: ALMOST 150 years after photovoltaic cells and wind turbines were invented, they still generate only 7% of the world's electricity. Yet something remarkable is happening

From being peripheral to the energy system just over a decade ago, they are now growing faster than any other energy source and their falling costs are making them competitive with fossil fuels. BP, an oil firm, expects renewables to account for half of the growth in global energy supply over the next 20 years. It is no longer far-fetched to think that the world is entering an era of clean, unlimited and cheap power. About time, too.Read article - click here 

Vision 2030 and the Birth of Saudi Solar Energy -  "Yellow Oil" 
A solar sector is emerging as part of Saudi Arabia's economic diversification plans under the Vision 2030. 
Makio Yamada offers an analysis of policy and institutions governing the country's expansion 
into "yellow oil." Rising domestic oil consumption, young citizens' entry into the job market, and  
reduced solar panel production costs have driven the
launch of the solar industry in the kingdom. Growth of the industry had previously been hindered by institutional ambiguity and fragmentation, 
functions under the newly-created super-ministry.  Read report -  
SASIA Webinar: June 7, 2017 recorded
Renewable Energy Auctions: Analysing 2016
At least 67 countries had used auctions for renewable energy contracts by mid-2016, up from less than 10 in 2005. This auctions report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) provides key updates on this crucial mechanism for price discovery and market development.

Average contract prices fell to USD 50 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for solar and USD 40/MWh for wind power in 2016, compared to USD 250/MWh and USD 80/MWh, respectively, in 2010. Chile, Mexico, Morocco, Peru and the United Arab Emirates achieved record price lows with solar and wind auctions in 2016. Along with falling technology costs, policy support and improved access to finance have helped drive accelerating renewable energy development.

Philadelphia Solar to build 12 MWh storage system at Jordan PV park
A solar farm in   Jordan  is poised to be equipped with the largest storage battery in the Middle East. At 12 MWh and 4 MWac, the lithium-ion battery being installed by Al Badiya at a 12 MW solar plant in Al-Mafraq is far bigger than any current storage system in the region.  Read article - click here 

Jordan Solar Industry Assocation (JSIA) , Country Manager, Laith Basha's  presentation at MENA New Energy Update:
Morocco secures $25 million loan for a NOOR hybrid solar project

Morocco Solar Industry Assoc
As part of the NOOR multi-site and multi-technology solar power project, a hybrid CSP-PV system, whose total capacity is expected to reach 600-800 MW, has secured $25 million in funding from the Climate Investment Funds' Clean Technology Fund.

Morocco is a leading CSP nation, and has been adding increasing amounts of solar PV in recent months. Read article - click here 
Miraah Solar Thermal Project, Oman

One gigawatt solar project for oil production establishes oil industry as the next major market for solar energy
Translated as 'mirror' in Arabic, Miraah is a proposed 1,021MW solar thermal facility to be located in South Oman, and expected to be one of  the world's biggest solar plants . Construction of the plant commenced in October 2015, while operations are scheduled to begin in August 2017.

The thermal energy produced by the facility will produce steam that will be used for thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to extract heavy and viscous oil at the Amal oilfield. Thermal EOR, which is touted to enhance well productivity by up to 300%, uses high-pressure steam, which is injected into the oilfield reservoirs to make the oil easier to be pumped to the surface..
 Read article - Click Here

Solar scheme to lower electric subsidy in Oman -
Homeowners in Oman will soon be able to help cut government power subsidies by selling solar power back to the national grid.

World Bank approves $660 million fund for 500 MW of projects at Benban solar complex in Egypt

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has approved a $660 million financing for the construction of 500 MW of solar power plants at the 1.8 GW Benban solar complex in Aswan, southern Egypt.

According to a statement from Egypt's State Information Service, the funds will be used to build 11 solar power plants with a combined capacity of 500 MW at the complex. These projects, the government said, will be built at a cost of $730 million, without providing additional details. 
Featured Event -  Sept. 26-27 - Intersolar Middle East - Dubai, UAE

  The solar power industry is already gaining momentum in Jordan, Morocco, UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - so now is the time to enter the markets, before others beat you to it!

Intersolar conferences focus on markets, policies and business opportunities. At this year's MENA conference several sessions will cover established and growing markets with insights and first-hand information on new policies and regulations.
 covering the latest technological trends and market developments worldwide. 
Powering Wind Energy in the MENA Region

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