A Saudi man walks on a street past a field of solar panels at the King Abdulaziz city of Sciences and Technology, Al-Oyeynah Research Station, May 21, 2012. Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, may finally be getting serious about overcoming the technical and financial hurdles for tapping its other main resource: sunshine. Saudi Arabia wants to generate much more solar power as it lacks coal or enough natural gas output to meet rapidly rising power demand. Doing so would allow it to slash the volume of oil it burns in power plants bankrolled by billions of dollars worth of saved oil earnings. Picture taken May 21, 2012. To match story SAUDI-SOLAR/  REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed   (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS) - GM1E85N1O8301
Saudi Arabia plans to add 9.5GW of renewables to grid by 2023 as it looks to spare more oil for export. Reuters

Saudi leads renewable energy developments with $7bn in new tenders

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is expected to lead renewable energy developments this year with up to $7 billion worth of new tenders, according to an official from the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“Saudi Arabia has huge potential because it has a big market and has very ambitious renewable energy targets,” said Rabia Ferroukhi, head of policy unit at the Abu Dhabi-based agency “The regulatory environment is well established now to conduct auctions and attract investors.”

Saudi Arabia is expected to tender over 4 Gigawatts of renewable projects this year, which could be worth anywhere between $5bn to $7bn, she added.

Saudi Arabia, which largely burns oil to generate power, has set ambitious targets to add 9.5GW of renewables by 2023, as it looks to sell more of its crude to export markets. The Saudi energy ministry’s renewables office is expected to tender 3.25GW of solar and 800 Megawatts of wind capacity this year alone.

Saudi Arabia is set to break ground on its first ever solar plant later this year, a $302 million, 300MW solar photovoltaic facility that will be developed by Riyadh-based Acwa Power on the basis of an independent power producer model.

Saudi Arabia’s inaugural 400MW wind project received four bids in April with the kingdom likely to award the scheme later this month.

But Saudi Arabia’s biggest project is a $200bn, 200GW solar development, set to be the world’s largest. Japan’s Softbank and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are leading the development, which will be completed by 2030, create 100,000 jobs and reduce the cost of generating electricity.

“The talks between PIF and Softbank become quite important because it shows there is a clear interest from one of the largest investment funds in the world to be involved in renewables in Saudi Arabia,” said Ms Ferroukhi. “But other institutions will be needed, foreign banks, to be involved in the project.”


Read more:

China's Silk Road Fund is investing in Dubai solar project, Acwa says

Middle East renewables sector to register 24% CAGR by 2025, says GE

Saudi Arabia's first wind project receives four bids


Saudi Arabia is also expected to include elements of localisation in future projects, including Softbank’s development, where winners of  contracts use local services and products in the ventures they are undertaking, according to analysts.

“The localisation requirements for this [Softbank project], if imposed as envisaged, would result in Saudi Arabia gaining the critical mass required to become one of the largest export bases for many components/ products in the solar value chain,” said Abhay Bhargava, director and business head of the Middle East and Africa Industrial Practice at consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

“It would also result in an unprecedented transfer of technology to Saudi Arabia, for not just the products and components, but also for skills and information technology - spurred by the need to integrate such a large base of renewables into the existing grids. Storage solutions would be a critical requirement for solar at this scale - we can expect many grid scale solutions to be tried in the Saudi Arabia for the first time ever in the region.”

For example, the $302m solar project included a 30 per cent local content requirement and the involvement of local banks. The 30 per cent target is expected to be increase further in future tenders.

“Saudi Arabia is in a good place in terms of creating a domestic industry and probably in the long run even exporting at least to the region if not further,” said Ms Ferroukhi.

Saudi Arabia is benefitting from record low prices for solar and wind.

According to Irena, costs for solar PV could drop by a further 60 per cent, offshore wind by 35 per cent and Concentrated Solar Power by 45 per cent over the next decade. CSP comes with storage, which allows the solar power to be fed into a grid even when the sun is not shining. But this also means that CSP is more expensive than PV, which has a quicker installation time because it has fewer moving parts.

Analysts are also bullish on Saudi Arabia’s renewables ambitions and lower prices, given their recent trajectory.

“It is only a question of time when prices for solar PV will drop below 1 cents,” said Cornelius Matthes, senior vice-president of Dii Desert Energy. “Both solar and wind in countries with good yield are now significantly lower than conventional electricity generation. Who would still invest in fossils from now on? Existing conventional assets will have hard time to compete in the daily load curve.”


Western Clubs Champions League
Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Runners up: Bahrain

Dubai Rugby Sevens
Winners: Dubai Exiles
Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

West Asia Premiership
Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Premiership Cup
Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins
Runners up: Dubai Exiles

UAE Premiership
Winners: Dubai Exiles
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins


Director: Khalid Fahad

Starring: Shaima Al Tayeb, Wafa Muhamad, Hamss Bandar

Rating: 3/5


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Final scores

18 under: Tyrrell Hatton (ENG)

- 14: Jason Scrivener (AUS)

-13: Rory McIlroy (NIR)

-12: Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP)

-11: David Lipsky (USA), Marc Warren (SCO)

-10: Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Chris Paisley (ENG), Matt Wallace (ENG), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR)

Scores in brief:

Boost Defenders 205-5 in 20 overs
(Colin Ingram 84 not out, Cameron Delport 36, William Somerville 2-28)
bt Auckland Aces 170 for 5 in 20 overs
(Rob O’Donnell 67 not out, Kyle Abbott 3-21).

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Director: Peyton Reed

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas

Three stars

The five pillars of Islam

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1hr 32mins 03.897sec

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull-Honda) at 0.745s

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 37.383s

4. Lando Norris (McLaren) 46.466s

5.Sergio Perez (Red Bull-Honda) 52.047s

6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 59.090s

7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 1:06.004

8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari) 1:07.100

9. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:25.692

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:26.713,

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

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