In this special podcast from Greentech Media, we talk with GTM Research Analyst Adam James and Dr. Khaled of Knowledge Industry Co. in Saudi Arabia about the development of renewable energy in Saudi Arabia, and a particular project called Renewable TaQati for RTV, which will be deployed in two phases: a pilot project generating 300 kilowatt-hours per day, and a second phase consisting of developing a large-scale renewable farm with 30 gigawatt-hour annual output. Both projects will be sited throughout the King Saud University campus in Riyadh.The pilot phase will utilize a multi-technology approach by deploying photovoltaics (PV), concentrated solar photovoltaics (CPV), concentrated solar power (CSP), as well as vertical and horizontal wind turbines to assess what technologies should be scaled for the larger farm.

The transition to renewable energy in Saudi Arabia will face many of the challenges seen across global markets. When a nascent market implements policies intended to dramatically shift the electricity portfolio, it requires a workforce capable of implementing and maintaining the new system, an experiential learning curve with new technologies, and the influx of new investment. These challenges are most pronounced in the earliest stages of the renewable transition, which is why the strategies of the first developers to participate in the process are such a useful reference point in understanding the energy economy.

The Renewable TaQati for RTV project has the potential to both overcome these challenges and contribute to a valuable learning process for Saudi Arabia as a whole. The unique partnership with King Saud University represents an investment not just in the project, but in developing human capital in the Kingdom and training the next generation of technical experts in the renewable energy field. In addition, the multi-technology renewable energy farm will inform the process of managing a broad technology portfolio -- lessons that Saudi Arabia will need to apply on a national scale as their generation mix becomes increasingly diversified.