Saudi Arabia remains a nation with huge potential for both Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and PV.

Saudi Arabia plans to make a big leap into concentrating solar power (CSP), the cousin of solar PV technology. In fact, 25 of the 41 gigawatts of planned solar energy will come from CSP. Saudi Arabia’s push into renewable energy brings plans to install more solar and wind power in the next 20 years than the rest of the world has installed to date.

As part of the recent announcement of the 6th Middle East and North Africa Solar Conference 2014 (MENASOL, 6-7 May, Dubai), CSP Today has produced "CSP Prospects in Saudi Arabia: 2014" a guide providing detailed business intelligence on choosing the best CSP technology for plants and preparing accurate cost projections.

In 2014 it is expected that the nation will launch its requests for proposals for large amounts of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and PV. High GHI/DNI rates, an economy looking to lower its internal oil consumption, and a drive towards developing new and sustainable industries lends itself very well to solar.

However, with only one large scale CSP plant in the MENA region, there are a lot of unknowns for financiers, CSP developers, EPC companies and technology suppliers when entering this region. What’s more there are also requirements specific to Saudi Arabia, such as in local content for which the global industry needs to carefully understand and work through to fulfil requirements whilst also remaining competitive

Performance is currently very hard to predict as the climate in the Middle East and North Africa is unlike anywhere else in the world. The biggest risk is currently mitigating the impact of dust that can cover the heliostats and mirrors in general. What’s more there are multiple different dust types which affect heliostats differently and may require different maintenance strategies. Financiers will be unlikely to fund projects without well-evidenced performance projections and a cost-effective but successful maintenance strategy. What’s more the site selection of a plant needs to be tempered with a secure and continual supply of water for the plant and for maintenance.

After key considerations on climate it is also unknown how well each CSP technology will perform, and performance results from key pilot projects have not yet been released.

To help companies choose the best technology and understand how to get a competitive edge in Saudi Arabia, CSP Today has published "CSP Prospects in Saudi Arabia: 2014" The guide reveals:

CSP & PV performance comparison – technical and economic analysis of the predicted efficiency and LCOE of PV, Parabolic Trough and Solar Tower technologies in Saudi Arabian conditions to make the right technology choice

Climatic conditions – analysis of the impact that the harsh Saudi Arabian desert environment will have on plants, including air temperature, DNI and component degradation to create accurate LCOE projections

Local content requirements –details on the high local content demands included in the Competitive Procurement Process white paper, to prepare for the first tender

The guide has been produced in conjunction with MENASOL, the 6th Middle East and North Africa Solar Conference & Exhibition focused on helping solar companies create an unbeatable proposal with the perfect combination of market insight and a robust desert plant design to win projects in MENA.

The guide can be downloaded here: