The Fastest Path to Implement Renewables: Distributed Storage

Posted: January 20, 2014 - 19:00 / Reports

Recently, Middle Eastern countries are embarking on a sustainable energy path. Saudi Arabia is taking the lead with ambitious targets for renewable energy generation. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also following a strategy of increasing renewable energy in its energy mix. Recently, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have launched tenders for two large-scale solar plants, each 100 Megawatts in size, while Abu Dhabi will submit a recommendation for a solar rooftop panel programme for 500 MW this year. According to experts, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ ground mounted solar plants and solar rooftop panels will start to penetrate Middle Eastern consumer markets.

Depletion of fossil resources and increased environmental awareness are lesser reasons, though. As former US president Bill Clinton said, ‘it’s the economy, stupid’. This century, levelised costs – i.e. the costs of production, operation and maintenance - for renewable energy have been steadily declining, setting them on par with the generation costs based on fossil fuels. Moreover, during the last eighteen months, PV panels have hit rock-bottom prices; making grid parity for some USA states and EU countries to come within reach (i.e. for electricity consumers pay just as much for renewables as for fossil fuel based electrical energy supplies).