The Business Year

Creating a culture of "prosumption" will be critical to ensuring the Saudi economy has the internal social combustion to evolve quickly enough to adopt the right sustainable practices.

Khalid Sharbatly

Managing Partner, Desert Technologies

Through its manufacturing department, EPC contracting arm, and power plant development unit, Desert Technologies Holdings is focused on R&D that improves existing technologies in solar energy to fit the conditions of dry, humid, and hot climates. The market is currently witnessing the proliferation of Chinese panels that adapt to all situations, but through our three business units we are focusing on sand storms, humidity, extreme heat, and extreme cold. The MENA region holds huge solar potential, but we really need to control the value chain, quality, and price through the full integration of services to become competitive on an international scale. In 2014, Desert Technologies became the first Saudi company to carry out projects worldwide, including those in Jordan and Egypt, and in the future we seek to grow in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America to build our track record gradually. Aside from environmental reasons, from a financial perspective, sustainability allows you to start predicting the future to make better assessments. If you have a sustainable business model with regard to energy, you can predict your energy bills. The current unpredictability, increased by the consumer choices of millennials, makes it difficult for us to make decisions on a government, corporate, or individual level, so placing sustainability at the center of one’s business model is a must.

Faisal Kayal

Executive Board Member, Solar Installer KSA

For a solar construction company, Saudi Arabia is the most lucrative market for three reasons. First, its current power generation and consumption system is not sustainable in the long term. The Kingdom has a population of 33 million consuming around 60GW of energy from conventional sources. This is a heavy burden on the government, resulting in an opportunity cost of about USD50 million per day, where you can sell the same quantity to the market. Part of the new vision of the leadership aims to restructure our economy, lifting the burden of Aramco’s subsidization. As such, Saudi Arabia in 20 years will have to stop subsidizing its energy requirements by generating about 200GW of renewable energy. Second, the government has established a clear roadmap for the country’s energy mix. Solar will represent about 66% of total energy and wind 26%, while other alternatives could represent about 8%. In this sense, the government has taken serious initiatives, releasing the first-round solar project in Sakaka and making public its goal of attaining 25GW by 2023. In 2019 alone, there will be a total capacity of 2.2GW, and the second round further illustrates the commitment of the government, with a total of eight sites that represent 1.8GW. Third, from a geographical point of view, Saudi Arabia is a big country with plenty of room, unlike the US or Europe, where space is limited and constrained due to culture and the environment.

Noor Essam Fadel

Founder & Managing Director, Noor Essam Fadel

MimariSol is a start-up in the new and promising renewable energy industry in Saudi Arabia. Being a young company, almost two years of age, we have yet to play our optimum role in this segment as we intend on being a catalyst for clean energy and energy efficiency awareness and innovation in Saudi Arabia. In the next three years, MimariSol plans on becoming the clean-energy-solutions provider of choice in the Kingdom. Primarily, our company targets a difficult but essential market segment, residential. We focus the development of our solutions on homeowners’ needs for energy cost reduction. We try and provide them with price certainty using renewable sources and clean technologies. Through our modular engineering approach, we try to simplify the technology and optimize our offerings to clients, while raising their awareness about the way they consume electricity and the potential of sustainable savings when using renewable energy solutions. We design and install solar energy systems on residential rooftops and are continuously diversifying our offerings to homeowners so they can save more. In addition to solar rooftops, we source and install solar water heaters and are expanding into the realm of smart technologies and IoT systems for homes. We believe in establishing a culture of “prosumers,“ or consumers that have the awareness and technology needed to produce as much electricity as they consume, whether they are in their cars, offices, or homes.



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