Conference – Riyadh – Wednesday 13 November


“Building partnerships”

A high-level international B2B conference on the impact and opportunities of PV power plants in the Saudi Arabia desert. The goal of this unique platform meeting is to create and facilitate networking and matchmaking opportunities between Saudi and international companies, with a view to building sustainable business relationships. 

08:00   Registration & coffee

09:00   Opening 


09:15 Solar energy can be twice as cheap

Will the cost of solar panels decrease by another 50% and stand at $0.25/Wp by 2020? Where in the value chain can the costs be pushed down further? What are the cost trends in the international PV industry? How will the price of solar energy develop over the next three years? What does this mean for the Saudi PV market and industry potential?

Henning Wicht - Senior Director and Principal Analyst, IHS Solar

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09:40  Industry perspective from an international market leader

Perspective from a solar business development veteran.

Arturo Herrero - CSO, JinkoSolar 

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10:05   Opportunities for Saudi Arabia as manufacturing hub for the Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s 41-gigawatt solar ambition creates local manufacturing opportunities. What partnerships are Saudi Arabians looking for? How can Saudi Arabia become the manufacturing hub for the MENA region?

Dr. Imtiaz Mahtab - Advisory Board Member, SASIA & Executive Vice President, Air Liquide Middle East and North Africa 

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10:30   Business networking coffee break 


11:20   Legal issues related to solar investments in Saudi Arabia

What are the legal issues related to investments in PV power plants? Are PPAs possible in Saudi Arabia? What are the opportunities for foreign companies? 

Martin Preston - Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

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11:40  Where to find the money for a PV power plant investment?

In addition to the technology aspect, the competitiveness of solar PV power plants also depends on the way the financing is arranged. What are the fiscal incentives available in Saudi Arabia? What does the investment framework and regime look like and what are the practical experiences in Saudi Arabia? What does the business case for a 10-MW PV power plant investment look like?

Faisal Qadri - Director, Project & Export Finance, HSBC Saudi Arabia
Saad Ur-Rehman - Head of Structured Finance Division, Banque Saudi Fransi
Paul Mansouri - Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
Dr. Imtiaz Mahtab - Advisory Board Member, SASIA & Executive Vice President, Air Liquide Middle East and North Africa

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12:30   Business networking lunch 

Session C:  PV power plant operations in desert areas

13:50   Operations and Maintenance services required for PV plants in desert areas

More than in any other PV application, the O&M of PV plants in desert areas requires extra attention. How do dust and extreme temperatures impact the required O&M of PV power plants? What are required O&M budgets? What is the reliability and lifetime of a PV module under desert conditions and how are guarantees secured? How does this O&M impact the LCOE ($/kWh)? Business case example based on practical experiences

Theodore Tsacheff - Director Business Development - AUSTRIAN ENVIRO TECHNOLOGIES

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14:15   The impact of technology choices on PV power plant operations

What is the impact of technology choices on PV power plant performance and operations? Will the benefit of a higher energy yield from tracking PV technology outweigh the extra O&M costs for a plant in the desert? Does thin-film perform better than crystalline solar PV modules under harsh conditions? 

Tamer Shahin - Solar Technology Engineer, KAUST

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14:40   The impact of desert conditions on inverter performance and lifetime

Even more than the solar modules, solar inverters are the critical component in PV power plants. What is the impact of desert conditions on inverter performance and lifetime? What are practical experiences in real desert PV projects? 

Manuele Ceccarelli - Eastern Europe & MENA Business Development Manager, Ingeteam

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15:00   Business networking tea break 

Session D:  Solar PV power plant performance in desert areas

15:50   Experiences and lessons learnt with large solar PV plants in Saudi Arabia

If there is one place on earth where the impact of the extreme desert conditions on the PV power plant can be studied, it is Saudi Arabia. What are the practical experiences and results of PV power plants in the Saudi desert? What does the plant performance look like in [kWh/kWp] and [kWh/m2]? 

Abdulrahman AlAmoud - Leader, Solar Energy Research Group

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16:15   Lessons learnt with PV power plants in the US desert

The world’s biggest PV power plants are located in the deserts of Arizona and California in the USA. What are the lessons learnt from these projects? What are the performances? What do the O&M requirements look like? 

Raed Ahmad Bkayrat - VP Business Development MENA region, First Solar 

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17:00   Close & networking with drinks