Dear Partners in the Renewable Energy industry,
I hope a quick glance of our work will please you as our industry platform is the first and (still) only initiative in MENA & Turkey for guiding the industry towards a fully emission free power supply. Until about 2014 solar and wind were broadly considered ‘exotic’, too expensive, too volatile, only producing during the day etc. to be taken seriously. That has changed dramatically in the last few years, since unsubsidized costs of solar PV, CSP and wind have generally dropped below the cost levels for fossil and nuclear alternatives. Record PPA prices of PV stand at 1.8€ct/KWh in KSA, for CSP 7.4 €ct/KWh in Dubai and 2.5 €ct/KWh for Wind in Morocco!! These ultra-low costs will swiftly be revolutionizing the markets. One may even ask ‘who would from now on still dare to invest in non-renewables’? However, ‘low costs’ sounds encouraging, but is it realistic to assume that renewables will take over completely from non-renewables? What about the often heard criticisms that renewables cannot be fully integrated in the power systems? Are the low prices convincing enough for developers and investors? Are the country related conditions in MENA sound enough for investors? Etc. The good news is: YES, ‘fully renewable’ is feasible’, both technically and economically and it even offers massive potential for local industries and jobs. But, that will not be easy in each country. A lot must be organized to move the market safely in the right direction. All ‘BIG 4’ elements of the market – (i) decentralized/centralized generation, (ii) interconnected grids/energy transport,(iii) storage and (iv) flexible demand - shall be fully mobilized locally and across borders to ensure security of emission free supply at lowest costs. This will in particular bring smart demand and storage into the focus e.g. smart city solutions, smart cooling or heating, PV based desalination, electric vehicles, bulk data processing etc. Also storage and transport media such as hydrogen will take part of the market. No matter how, the power markets will definitely turn totally upside down in the coming years. And, it will go fast. Very fast! The drivers of renewables, interconnected market and smart cities, including ACWA Power, State Grid Corporation of China, innogy, Saudi Al Gihaz and Alfanar, Masdar, DEWA, ABB, Siemens, First Solar, TSK, Noor and many other players are also pushing the industry platform Dii Desert Energy. These companies will tell us how they have set the stage and what practical experiences they have gained in the ongoing disruption processes.
We wish you a healthy and emission friendly 2018!
Paul Van Son
Dii Desert Energy