CEO of Enel plans developing renewable energy in Middle East

Jan 15, 2017 – Italian energy major Enel plans a number of renewable energy projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the oil-rich countries are willing to take advantage of the falling cost of solar power to diversify their energy supplies, Francesco Starace, Enel chief executive officer, said in an interview to Bloomberg.

“We are waiting for the first tenders in Saudi Arabia,” he said. Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., as well as Oman, have natural potential with their plentiful sunshine, “and they have stability that is perceived as better than the North African area. I am sure the countries are perfect objects for investments,” he added.

The company plans to cut its generating capacity for power from fossil fuels by 39 by 2019.

In mid-January Enel signed a cooperation agreement with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, known as DEWA, to help upgrade the emirate’s power grid, after reaching a similar accord with Saudi Electricity Co.

Saudi Arabia aims to generate 10 gigawatts from solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy in the next five years, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said last month. DEWA plans to be able to produce 75 percent of its power from renewables by 2050.

A group led by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, won bidding in June to build an 800-megawatt solar plant in Dubai to produce what could be the world’s cheapest power generated from the sun.