Germany keen to develop Saudi renewable energy industry

Germany has much to offer to Saudi Arabia in the development of its renewable energy. This was the view expressed by Mr. Jörg Ranau, German Ambassador to the Kingdom, at a renewable energy workshop at Asharqia Chamber today.

Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Suhaimi, Board Member of Asharqia Chamber, in his inaugural speech, said that Saudi government has seriously focused on the development of the renewable energy, taking the total generation to over 44GW by 2032.

 

Mr. Oliver Oehms, Delegate of the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO), Ms. Katrin Pasvantis, Director of the German Trade & Investment (GTAI), Mr. Quentin Blommaert, DEinternational Consultant and Mr. Hossam Al-Shafi, Consulting Engineer of the company Fichtner Saudi Arabia were, among others, present at the workshop.

Mr. Ranau gave an outline of 30 years’ energy transition in Germany from the conventional to the renewable sources saying that currently renewable energy share in Germany has reached around 118GW, out of the total 207GW produced. He said that Germany in its pursuit of a clean energy for a better environment is to phase out all kinds of coal plants by 2035 and nuclear plants by 2022 for safety reasons.

The German ambassador stressed the importance of energy security and reliability of energy with the exponential growth in the area of renewable energy in Germany. He noted that Germany has kept on developing new technology in order to generate cheap energy for the use in industries and for heating or cooling systems as well.

Mr. Ranau noted that Germany has excellent relationships with the Kingdom in both economic and political fronts adding that bright prospects have emerged for cooperation in all the economic sectors between two countries after the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030. He also pointed to the newly emerged Saudi entertainment industry to which Germany has something to offer as well.

Ms. Katrin Pasvantis pointed out that there has been high social acceptance for the development of renewable energy in Germany. She noted that German firms are interested in sharing their experience for the development of Saudi renewable energy particularly solar energy. She said Germany has the latest technology, equipment and machinery in the generation of renewable energy.

German Trade & Invest is the economic development agency of the German government. With more than 50 offices in Germany and abroad, and its network of partners throughout the world, GTAI supports German companies to strengthen their foothold in foreign markets.

The German firm Fichtner is an independent engineering and consultancy enterprise active mainly in the sectors of energy and infrastructure. It has presence in more than 170 countries and over 420 projects have been completed by the company worldwide. Eng. Hossam Al-Shafi, explained Fichtner’s activities in Saudi Arabia which has around 20 ongoing projects in the Kingdom.

Mr. Quentin Blommaert, a DEinternational Consultant disclosed that Saudi Arabia has re-set an increased target of generating renewable energy at 58.7GW by 2030. He presented a paper under the title “Saudi Arabia's Energy Transition - Evolving Energy Narrative with German Support.”

Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Suhaimi said that this workshop was taking place at an opportune time when Saudi Arabia has embarked on massive renewable energy projects creating enormous investment opportunities for private sector companies in cooperation with their foreign partners.

He observed that Saudi government under its Vision 2030 has seriously concentrated on the development of renewable energy particularly solar energy with the main objectives of export possibility of solar energy and reducing fossil fuel consumption and carbon footprint for a better environment. Earlier, the government has set a target of generating over 44 gigawatt of renewable energy including 41 gigawatt of solar energy by 2032, noted Mr. Al-Suhaimi.

Mr. Al-Suhaimi mentioned that many large-scale solar energy projects are coming up in the Kingdom. The first 300 Megawatt Sakaka renewable energy project under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative has already been inaugurated. The Saudi Renewable Energy Project Development Office has invited bids to qualify for seven green-field solar photovoltaic projects with direct investments worth several billion Saudi Riyals. The Riyadh-based ACWA Power has involved itself in solar panel manufacturing and is working with the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Japan’s SoftBank on multi-billion Dollar solar-power generation projects. SoftBank has announced a plan to invest in the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, he said.