Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Solar will force global power companies to adjust their business models

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Jeremy Leggett, a prominent international solar thought leader, entrepreneur, business leader and author, will provide one of the keynote speeches at the second edition of the solar energy conference "Desert Solar in Saudi Arabia", 17-18 September in Riyadh. The conference will discuss opportunities for solar energy in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region.

"Coal plants will become redundant and force the existing power companies in the western world to change their business model. Solar energy deployment is going to change the face of the energy industry by 2020." This was also the conclusion of the world's largest private bank UBS in their solar report "Large-scale power stations will be redundant within 10-20 years, with solar technology taking their place as chief power source."

These statements are in line with the predictions of the second keynote speaker at the conference, Thierry Lepercq, founder and president of France-based Solairedirect, a world leader in the development of large photovoltaic (PV) power plants with low levelized cost of energy (LCOE). "Around 2020 solar energy will become available at $0,05-$0,07/kWh by 2020, according to Lepercq. By then, solar PV power would be by far the cheapest energy in the world."

This kind of vision is also consistent with another keynote speaker at the conference, the international authority in the field of energy storage Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Sterner. "In combination with short-and long-term storage, renewable energy can replace existing power plants as a whole without power failure or malfunctions."

"Saudi Arabia's target for an installed solar capacity of 41 GW by 2032 is by far the most ambitious solar target in the world," says Browning Rockwell, executive director of the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA), co-organizer of the conference together with Solarplaza. "The kingdom could easily become one of the largest solar markets globally."

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