Enviromena: We can do solar PV for $0.14 per Kw/h
Tumbling costs make solar viable for utilities, says EPC contractor.
Tumbling generation costs and massive demand for peak power are two reasons why Enviromena believes solar PV is poised for takeoff in the region.
The Abu Dhabi-based EPC contractor, which built one of the region’s first PV plants in 2008 for Masdar, says PV is now competitive with other forms of power generation.
“The solar power plant we built in 2008 was 10MW for $50 million. Today, you could build an identical plant very comfortably for $15 million,” said Sami Khoreibi, CEO, Enviromena.
“What this has done is make solar PV competitive with a number of other sources of energy that are part of regional grids.”
For Jordan, which has little oil of its own, solar already makes sense on a cost basis, according to Khoreibi.
“The production cost on average of electricity in Jordan is higher using the existing technologies (a lot of it is oil fired) compared to solar technology,” he said.
“With solar today, you can produce very comfortably for $0.14 per Kw/h and the average production cost, I believe, in Jordan is $0.19 per Kw/h.”
Such economics might not apply to large oil producing states, but Sander Trestain, executive director of projects, says solar PV could play a big part in helping these countries meet peak power demand.
“To produce that energy for one or two hours in the middle of the day, you have to have a power plant idle for 22 hours a day,” said Trestain.
“When you look at the economics of having that plant idle and the fact that typically these plants are going to be oil fired, PV can be dramatically cheaper.”