China supports Pakistan and Saudi to develop photovoltaic power

By Staff Reporter | Gwadar Pro Jul 14, 2021

RIYADH, Jul 14th (Gwadar Pro) - Energy China Group signed a contract for the 300 megawatt EPC photovoltaic power generation (PV) project in Rabig, Saudi Arabia. In combination with the PV projects under CPEC, China is effectively supporting PV development in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The project in Saudi is expected to create 900 local jobs and provide green electricity to 45,300 homes. After completion, the project will generate an average of 2,240 kWh of electricity per year, with a total power generation of 894 million kWh in the first year and a CO2 emission reduction of 779,900 tons. It is estimated that the total electricity generation in 25 years will be about 21.4 billion kWh, and the translated CO2 emission reduction will be nearly 18.62 million tons, which will effectively optimize the energy structure of Saudi.

Pakistan and Saudi have similar conditions and demand to develop PV energy. Shen Lei, the executive secretary of China Society of Natural Resources (CSNR), a scholar of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), said in a previous interview that several BRI countries with rich resources to develop photovoltaic power generation need to increase the proportion of PV in their energy mix. In consideration of cast tracts of land and plenty of sun Pakistan and Saudi have, the advantaged natural conditions provide the two countries with positive conditions to develop PV energy.

On the other hand, China is the largest exporter of solar power products, accounting for 28% of the world's exports, leading the world in PV industry. "China has ranked first in the world in PV installation capacity for four consecutive years, and PV energy is opening a new world," said Shi Zhengrong, a member of Australia's National Academy of Science and Engineering Technology.

Including EPC 30MW PV Project, QUAID-E-AZAM 100MW PV Project, China has invested and contracted to build most PV power stations in Pakistan. According to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the PV energy market in Pakistan will continue to expand, which has been benefited by Chinese investment.

According to China BRI Investment Report 2020 released by Green BRI Center, the highlights of this paper is that renewable energy investments (solar, wind, hydro) constitute the majority of Chinese overseas energy investments – increasing their share from 38% in 2019 to 57% in 2020. Among them, Asia receives the largest share of Chinese BRI investments (about 54% in 2020).

Saudi Arabia is highly dependent on the oil industry, resulting in a single structure of its energy and economy. In order to cope with the rapid changes in the global energy landscape and realize the Sustainable Development Goals, Saudi officially launched its "Saudi Vision 2030" in April 2016, which coincides with Pakistan's focus on energy transition and carbon reduction. Consequently, experts from Pakistan, China and Saudi believe that there is great potential for international cooperation in the field of PV energy.

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