Renewable Energy

Lessons Learned from South Africa for Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Localization

By June 9, 2017 May 17th, 2021 No Comments

Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of its utility-scale renewable energy procurement with an ambitious goal of 9.5 GW of new renewable power by 2023. In preparation, the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) and Saudi Arabia Wind Industry Association (SAWIA) organized a webinar to discuss some of the details for Saudi Arabia’s procurement and leverage international experience to inform their program. Chris Ahlfeldt was a guest speaker for the webinar, and highlighted some of the key lessons learned in South Africa such as:

  • Stable demand from government and local customers naturally drives localization (e.g. gov. procurement & goals, allowing bilateral PPAs, wheeling, & embedded customer gen.)
  • Delays and unpredictable government procurement can put local manufacturers out of business
  • Electricity market structure should allow for fair access to grid by IPPs and customer generation (e.g. independent system operator)
  • Ensure local content commitments are enforceable and account for exchange rate fluctuations
  • Consider government procurement for smaller-scale projects as well to create more opportunity for smaller local business
  • Consider encouraging development of local components with export potential rather than just % spend
  • Components that can be made locally and exported at globally competitive prices with international certifications will help create a sustainable local industry and jobs

A full recording of the webinar and presentation can be found at: