Solar Will Force Global Power Companies to Adjust Their Business Model

478Jeremy 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.

Jeremy is well known for his visionary thoughts on the opportunities for solar and its potentially disruptive impact on coal and gas power plants in Europe and the USA. “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 US$0,05-US$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.”

“We are delighted to have Jeremy speak at the conference,” says Edwin Koot, CEO of Solarplaza. “Jeremy is a well-known solar advocate and an expert in his field. His influence has already changed the role solar energy will play in alleviating the world’s energy transition. He will speak about ‘Why solar is now interesting for the energy-advantaged countries in the MENA region’, elaborating on how Saudi Arabia can become a solar energy leader in the region and power the growth of the Saudi Arabian economy.”

“The global solar energy market is growing rapidly and expected to double again in the coming five years. We are no longer talking about a local niche market, but a 90+ Billion dollar global business. As with oil, Saudi Arabia is blessed with the best resources to explore the enormous industrial and business opportunities and become a global leader in solar energy.” The keynote speakers and others will discuss these opportunities at the conference Desert Solar in Saudi Arabia.

“With the cost of solar systems coming down because of economies of scale in production and installation, solar energy applications will become competitive in more and more markets. This development won’t stop. Even the rather conservative International Energy Agency has forecasted that new solar installations until 2035 will represent investments of more than $1 trillion. I would call that an interesting business opportunity,” summarizes Koot, who has more than 20 years experience in solar PV.

Jeremy Leggett is Founder and non-executive Chairman of London-based Solarcentury, a leading international solar energy firm. He started his career as a geologist in the oil industry. Described by the Observer as ‘the UK’s most respected green energy boss,’ Mr Leggett is a former member of the UK government’s renewables advisory board and was instrumental in campaigning for the UK incentive scheme. He is the author of several books on renewable energy and contributor to The Guardian and the Financial Times.




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