Peak power demand to triple in two decades, forum told  - Mar 30, 2011 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - - Transmission - Technical Articles - Index - Library - GENI - Global Energy Network Institute

Peak power demand to triple in two decades, forum told

Mar 30, 2011 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News -

The peak power demand in the Kingdom is expected to triple during the next two decades from 43 gigawatts in the summer of 2010 to more than 120 gigawatts in 2030, Khalid M. Al-Sulaiman, vice president for Renewable Energy at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE), said at the inauguration of the Third Saudi Solar Energy Forum held at the Faisaliah Hotel here on Sunday.

The forum was attended by more than 400 public and private sector decision makers from around the world to discuss the tremendous opportunity to use solar energy to help diversify the Kingdom's energy mix and create a solar value chain that includes local manufacturing, technology development and job creation.

Explaining the Kingdom's commitment to developing sustainable, alternative energy to meet the country's rapidly growing energy needs, Al-Sulaiman said: "To meet this growing energy demand and maintain long-term economic prosperity, it is critical that the Kingdom add new power generating capacity while reducing the amount of fossil fuels used to produce electricity."

He also pointed out that with the abundance of sunlight and land in Saudi Arabia, solar energy could play an important role in providing power and establishing a vibrant new industry.

In addition to providing the framework for renewable energy power generation, he said the government will focus on creating jobs through the establishment of local manufacturing activities within the solar value chain. "Thus, the development of solar energy in Saudi Arabia is expected to have a large impact on the Kingdom's future economic growth," he stressed.

"The KA-CARE is the driving force for making atomic and renewable energy an integral part of a national sustainable mix, creating and leveraging the competitive advantages of relevant technologies for the social and economic development of the country," Al-Sulaiman said.

The Third Saudi Solar Energy Forum set a new record in terms of participants and topics covered. The forum is held in coordination with Apricum -- The Cleantech Advisory, a German-headquartered strategic management consultancy firm. Previous Saudi Solar Energy Forums were hosted by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and Saudi Aramco in 2010.

The session of the forum focused on topics, such as utility-scale solar power generation, solar power generation projects in the Kingdom, and economic development through solar manufacturing.

In conjunction with the forum, the World Bank Group will host a workshop on renewable energy financing mechanisms on Monday. The workshop is part of the World Bank's Arab World Initiative to foster faster collaboration and knowledge sharing in the MENA region. The goal of the workshop is to review different financing approaches that have been used globally and discuss how they can be applied within the Kingdom.

The KA-CARE is a Saudi governmental institution entrusted with setting and implementing the national atomic and renewable energy policy. It was established by a royal decree in April last year.

In February this year, the Kingdom and France signed a bilateral agreement for developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The accord was signed between Hashim A. Yamani, president of KA-CARE, and the French minister in charge of industry and energy, Eric Besson, in Riyadh.

The agreement allows the two countries to cooperate in the fields of production, use and transfer of knowledge regarding peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

According to Yamani, the agreement would pave the way for the Kingdom's long-term plans to build power stations utilizing alternative energy sources to produce electricity and desalinate water.