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Saudi Arabia Issues Rules for Small-Scale Solar Energy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Solar panels are shown on top of a Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing-funded (MASH) housing complex in National City, California, U.S. on November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Riyadh– Saudi Arabia’s Electricity and Co-generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA) issued a regulatory framework for electricity consumers to operate their own small-scale solar power generating systems which will allow self-consumption and export excess to the grid.

The authority aims to create an encouraging environment where consumers use solar energy as part of the goals of Vision 2030. The Kingdom has few renewable energy facilities but aims to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from such sources annually by 2023 through 60 projects, investing between $30 billion and $50 billion.

The authority also declared that all excess electricity will be exported to the national grid and later, consumers’ excess electricity offset will be put against their future consumption and after a year they will receive cash payments at a tariff approved by the authority.

ECRA believes that this is an essential step forward towards the realization of the deployment of renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.

The energy ministry is drawing up an incentive program to encourage companies and households to generate their own solar power, but no timetable for its introduction has been set yet.

The authority determined a set of rules and regulations to ensure productivity during the installation of the systems and secure all required actions.

According to ECRA, the new regulations will be put into action as of mid-2018.

Households account for about half of power consumption in Saudi Arabia, much of it is for air conditioning due to weather conditions.