ACWA Power is a Saudi Arabian development company active in the power and desalination sectors, employing 2,300 people and managing assets of over $15 billion value.
This is a very inspiring interview. It makes a couple of things very clear.
For one, Saudi Arabia already has a very big electricity market. They are using 55 GW already, and are going to increase that to 125 GW over the next twenty years. They will get to 50% solar.
That’s a big market on its own, and Saudi Arabia will go ahead developing its very good solar resources. That will happen whatever Desertec will able to pull off or not. With the price of solar energy way down, there is no way to stop solar energy in the desert country of Saudi Arabia.
But they also realize that getting the ability to export energy (something Saudi Arabia has had rather good experiences with) will lead to to an even larger market, which in turn means more competition, prices going down faster, and income from exporting the energy (again, something Saudi Arabia has had good experiences with).
He also notes the obvious: The Middle East and North African countries have excellent wind and solar resources and vast areas of land available. So he thinks that Desertec will play an important role in explaining these simple truths to governments, especially in Europe, where they already have done rather a good job at that task.