Bloomberg reports that this is the start of a $50bn program to diversify the oil producer’s domestic energy supplies away from fossil fuels.
“The energy ministry said Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Electricite de France SA bid to supply power from a 300MW photovoltaic plant for as little as 6.69736 halalas a kilowatt hour, or 1.79 US cents, according to a webcast of the bid-opening ceremony on Tuesday in Riyadh. If awarded, that would beat the previous record for a solar project in Abu Dhabi for 2.42 US cents a kilowatt-hour.”
Bloomberg carries the views of Jenny Chase, chief solar analyst for BNEF in Zurich:
“There is great pressure in the Middle East to come up with an impressive headline number, and these are becoming increasingly divorced from the reality of payments … I don’t think this is possible as an all-in price of electricity from a 2019 PV project, particularly given the rising cost of debt in Saudi Arabia.”