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Saudi Arabia: Riyadh forum to discuss solar energy investment - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A new photovoltaic solar energy plant is officialy opened in Neuendorf, Switzerland, 20 August 2013 (EPA/ALEXANDRA WEY)

A new photovoltaic solar energy plant is officialy opened in Neuendorf, Switzerland, 20 August 2013 (EPA/ALEXANDRA WEY)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—A major international forum will be held in Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss funding strategies and the removal of obstacles to investment in solar energy and photovoltaic cell research in Saudi Arabia.

The forum, which is organized by Global Network Initiative, Solar Energy Joint Initiative, and the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA), will discuss building commercial networks, in addition to analysis of public market conditions and the opportunities provided by the Saudi solar energy program.

Official Saudi plans for a national renewable energy project are expected to be announced soon, though the details of the program are still being finalized.

The second international forum for information and solar networks will discuss the pricing policy in the region, and the introduction of photovoltaic cells into the local market, as well as solar thermal plants, component suppliers, vital field engineering, and professional and legal services.

Browning Rockwell, executive director of SASIA, said GDP in Saudi Arabia was strongly linked to the increase in demand for energy, but no tangible research was carried out until now, especially that which focused on the possibility of exploiting solar energy in Saudi Arabia.

He said that despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has so far relied heavily on oil wells and the petroleum industry, the Saudi economy has changed in the past decade and developed greatly, in addition to the growth in demand for energy.

Rockwell added that this growth paved the way for an “alternative energy program” in Saudi Arabia, and that Saudi officials were looking to a more sustainable future, while preserving non-renewable fossil fuel resources and the kingdom’s world leadership in the energy sector.