Soudi Arabia to host Desert Solar conference 2014

Second edition of Desert Solar Saudi Arabia conference will be held in Riyadh from 14-18 September, gathering stakeholders in Saudi Arabian solar energy market, hosting 150 decision makers from across the industry.

This conference is jointly organized by international solar conference organizer Solarplaza and the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA).

The platform offers international solar executives and investors the opportunity to meet with a high-level delegation of Saudi solar stakeholders.


The panel of speakers will include executives from Air Liquide MENA, E.ON, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), and Tokyo Electron Taiwan, as well as Skypower Fas Energy, Solairedirect and First Solar.

Recently, Solar Frontier completed the 1 MW CPV plant at the Nofa Equestrian Resort, Riyadh.

Saudi Aramco’s KAPSARC II solar plant project extension from 3.5 MW to 5.3 MW is under process.

Saudi Arabia is capable of achieving a solar LCOE of between US$70/MWh in the higher irradiation areas and around US$90/MWh in the Gulf area, says Thierry Lepercq, founder, president, Solairedirect, who will explore the business case for utility-scale solar plants at the conference.

Using a 10 MW and above system, solar power can be generated at a price range of US$70 and US$100 per MWh, which is lower than in 2009. Further cost reductions down to US$50-US$70/MWh by 2020 can be expected, reveals Lepercq.

Recent developments in Saudi Arabia, such as local investment in PV projects financing and the growing power of EPC companies indicates their potential to evolve into a sustainable solar energy market, expressed, Raed Bkayrat, vice president, First Solar, Saudi Arabia, who will be sharing insights on solar-powered desalination solutions for Saudi Arabia at the conference.

With access to low-cost finance, land availability, high solar irradiance and locally-based, skilled resource, Saudi Arabia can achieve lowest PV levelized costs of electricity in the region, highlights Bkayrat.

The PV manufacturing sector, leveraging KSA’s industrial infrastructure, with region-specific PV R&D initiatives at local institutions will boost the additional cost decrease and increased human capital development in the Saudi solar sector, commented Imtiaz Mahtab, board member, Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA).