Saudi Arabia to unveil tariffs for solar power

27 March 2011

Kingdom to announce solar power subsidies on 5 April

Saudi Arabia will announce the level of support that will be on offer for solar power projects in the kingdom on 5 April.

A source close to the Saudi government said that the proposed support mechanism mirrors the system currently used in California, in the US.

The level of support will differ according to the technology used by the project. For instance, a photovoltaic solar project would receive a different amount a kilowatt hour to a concentrated solar power (CSP) project.

Saudi Arabia will be the first country in the Middle East to implement a universal feed-in tariff. In doing so, it has indicated a move away from central government-planned project towards a market-led sector. Developers will be able to propose projects to the government with a full understanding of the power purchase price on offer from the outset.

According to one delegate at the summit: “This will change things massively. Saudi Arabia will develop an industry for solar power. Previously, projects were simply not economically viable. This change will mean that projects may be economically viable.”

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