Saudi Arabian Developer ACWA Power CEO Paddy Padmanathan Interview on Desertec

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.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

One thought on “Saudi Arabian Developer ACWA Power CEO Paddy Padmanathan Interview on Desertec

  1. Obama’s energy policy is right. The world goes solar. Japan’s FiT in July is among the highest in the world. Japan’s FiT is shaking the solar market. Now, Saudi Arabia has the same options. New solutions will be showed in Japan. This is it!
    As you know, earthquake in Japan is happening frequently. Floating solar panels installation is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. So you have to reduce vibration to install Floating solar panels. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! Vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating solar panels installation has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, these Floating Body Stabilizers have been used to reduce vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can watch New Floating Body Stabilizer videos on YouTube.,


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