Until 2032, the Kingdom will develop 41 gigawatts of solar energy, of which 25 gigawatts are meant to be produced with concentrating solar thermal power technology for Saudi Arabia.

Saudi and German representatives from industry and research started yesterday a two-day workshop in a local hotel in Riyadh to discuss future cooperation on concentrated solar power (CSP) between the Kingdom and Germany.

“The workshop, which is held under the auspices of the German Embassy, aims to develop future cooperation between research institutions of the two countries,” German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller said. It also aims to develop, industrial cooperation between enterprises of the two countries, he added.

More than 100 participants are attending the CSP workshop, including 40 German senior managers and 17 different industrial firms, with the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) as main cooperation partners.

The CSP technology, the German envoy explained, converts energy from the sun into heat, which in turn is used to generate electricity in steam turbines. “These solar power plants work especially in countries with direct sun irradiation – the sun belt of the earth on both sides of the equator up to 35 degrees latitude,” he said.

Haller added that the Saudi government has announced an ambitious program to set up solar energy in the Kingdom. “Until 2032, the Kingdom will develop 41 gigawatts of solar energy, of which 25 gigawatts are meant to be produced with solar thermal technology for Saudi Arabia,” he said. It goes without saying, he added, that Saudi Arabia will become one of the world’s most important markets for solar energy.

The workshop was hosted by KA CARE, the government institution mandated to establish the technical and legal framework for solar energy in Saudi Arabia, and initiated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

DLR is a leading European Competence Center for solar thermal power generation. It was also supported by the German Ministry of Environment, which is interested in promoting cooperation between German and Saudi Arabia in the field of solar research and development.

“The planned research collaborations should have a strong practical orientation and that the involvement of Saudi and German firms is important,” the German envoy said.

The second day of the workshop, which is organized by Deutsche CSP , focuses on the industrial collaboration of German and Saudi enterprises. The Deutsche CSP is a new association of leading German firms and institutions of the solar power sector.

“This is even more important as the Saudi government intends to combine the implementation of solar energy production with the development of a local solar industry. This is where the German solar power specialists are meant to assist as they have excellent and long-term experience in the field of solar thermal technology development,” Haller said.