Rome-based utility owner Enel SpA is targeting renewables projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as oil-rich Gulf countries take advantage of the falling cost of solar power to diversify their energy supplies, Dubai Eye 103.8 reported.
Enel’s CEO, Francesco Starace, said “We will wait for the first tenders in Saudi Arabia,” and in regards to Dubai’s renewable program, UAE’s second-largest emirate, he added: “so we will try and participate.” Accordingly, in January, Enel signed a cooperation agreement with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), to help upgrade the emirate’s power grid, after reaching a similar accord with Saudi Electricity Company, informed Bloomberg.
Cheaper production costs are creating new growth opportunities for solar power in the region, even as the profit margins of generating companies may narrow in the low-price environment. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Oman, have natural potential with their plentiful sunshine. Starace stated: “and they have stability that is perceived as better than the North African area. They are less risky, and therefore, I see no problem with looking at these countries as a great investment.”
Under Starace, Enel is scaling back on large power stations to focus on producing and distributing greener sources of energy. The utility reintegrated its renewable-energy spinoff Enel Green Power in 2016 and plans to cut its generating capacity for power from fossil fuels by 39% by 2019.