RIYADH: High energy prices are pushing people to explore renewable energy options that are cost-competitive, the CEO of ACWA Power said on Wednesday.
Speaking to Arab News at the sixth Future Investment Forum in Riyadh, Paddy Padmanathan said that every conversation in the markets the country operated in was dominated by the questions: “How much more renewable energy can be deployed” — and “how fast?”
“Every conversation we have in the markets that we operate in, and we operate in 13 countries, people just want to know how much more renewable energy can be deployed, how fast, because they want to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels for carbon emissions, but also to stabilize energy prices, because they know that renewable energy is cost-competitive,” the CEO said.
“Look, in 2023, the Dubai 700 megawatt concentrated solar power plant with storage will come fully online. This is evidence — reliable dispatchable solar energy 24 hours a day, seven days of the week, at 7.2 cents per kilowatt hour at a price that even in a country where the cost of energy, extracting energy is cheap, cannot compete with that,” he said.
Padmanathan said that the company would continue to branch out into new markets in 2023 and would finance and construct a floating solar power plant in Indonesia, one of several projects in the country.
“Just two weeks ago, the first two projects, decent size, nice floating solar in Indonesia, finally formally signed, we now will go into financing and construction. There are three more projects right behind. We’ve already started working on five other projects. So we’ll do a lot more stuff in that part of the world.
“We have already started looking at a nice project in Thailand. So we’ll enter the new markets, but we’re not going to forget the existing because the existing markets demand more: Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Morocco, we’ll step into Senegal, Egypt all these (markets),” the CEO said.