Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy future

As the global population grows and urbanization continues, governments around the world are transforming their thinking on how best to meet their future energy needs.

Energy security is an increasingly prominent priority, and it is particularly pressing for the MENAT region.  Rapid population growth, industrialization and major infrastructural investments mean energy demand is set to grow 7% annually until at least 2020.  In Saudi Arabia alone, energy consumption is predicted to treble by 2030.

Against that backdrop, Ibrahim Babelli, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Economic Minister, indicated in May 2016 that renewable energy – particularly solar power – could become more important than the country’s nuclear energy ambitions.  It is not hard to see why: Saudi’s climate makes it an ideal location for both solar and wind energy projects and this opens significant investment opportunities in the energy sector.

The Saudi Government has set a target of delivering 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2030, as part of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan and is encouraging private sector investment to achieve this. The potential savings are significant, with research suggesting that fulfilment of these targets could cut power sector fossil fuel consumption by 25% by 2030.

In response to the changing energy landscape, Abdul Latif Jameel Energy was established in 2012. It has since acquired the European-based solar energy firm Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), bringing photovoltaic (PV) solar energy projects to the MENAT region and beyond.

01Abdul Latif Jameel Energy is at the forefront of efforts to achieve the Government’s ambitions, having already completed the construction, operation, maintenance and financing of almost 800 MW of PV solar energy plants worldwide.

Omar Al-Madhi, Senior Managing Director of Abdul Latif Jameel Investments, said: “Our team has extensive international experience in developing renewable energy projects, as well as in the sale and management of operating assets. We look forward to further collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s authorities as we leverage the operational strength and global expertise of our business.”

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