Rules Issued for Small-Scale Solar Generation in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has issued a regulatory framework for electricity consumers to operate their own, small-scale solar power generating systems and export unused power to the national grid, according to a Reuters report citing a government statement.

The rules will come into force next July 1 and cover small photovoltaic facilities with generating capacity of no more than 2 megawatts, the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority said. Consumers will have their excess electricity offset against their future consumption and after a year they will receive cash payments at a tariff approved by the authority, according to Reuters.

Domestic renewable energy generation presents Saudi Arabia with an opportunity to meet soaring energy demand needs without using additional oil, making more crude available for export. The Kingdom has said it aims to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from such sources annually by 2023 through 60 projects, investing between $30 billion and $50 billion.

“What has been achieved is an essential step forward towards the realisation of the deployment of renewable energy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Fayez al-Jabri, the authority’s director-general of technical affairs, according to Reuters.