Retail Power Price Reform in the Middle East: Grid-Competitive Solar’s Way In?

by Benjamin Attia, Browning Rockwell, Chris Ahlfeldt, Aaron Morrow

Solar’s time has (nearly) come in the Middle East. Tthe region is home to some of the most attractive markets for new-build solar in the world, and a steady stream of internationally competitive tenders — including more than 8 gigawatts expected in 2018 — has created a sizable pipeline of utility-scale projects in the Gulf, driven prices to record lows and caught the attention of the world.

GTM Research expects over 22 GW of solar to be installed in Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by 2023 as national renewable energy target policies set bold goals. But to date, most of the region’s markets have not seen the maturation of solar markets behind the meter, despite steep cost declines and the introduction or development of net metering policies.

This report provides a market overview and five-year outlook for the solar market in the Middle East. It includes detailed coverage of legacy electricity subsidies and tariffs, as well as lessons to be learned from Jordan, which has fostered a thriving local solar industry.

The report is available to subscribers of our Global Downstream Solar Service. To learn more, please contact



Benjamin Attia Analyst, Solar

Benjamin Attia is an Analyst with GTM Research’s Global Demand team, providing data analysis and forecasts, market research, and bespoke strategy consulting and advisory to key stakeholders in on-grid and off-grid solar markets in emerging economies in Southeast Asia, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a Master of Energy & Environmental Policy and a B.S. in Economics and Energy & Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware.

Browning Rockwell CEO | Saudi Arabia Solar Industries Association

Over his 36-year career, Browning has spanned a range of disciplines related to business development, international business, and project and technical management. He has founded and led several nonprofit associations including the Emirates Solar Industry Association, the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Associations and Solar GCC Alliance, aimed at furthering the growth of solar energy in the Middle East.

Chris Ahlfeldt Energy Specialist | Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services

Chris Ahlfeldt has over 10 years of in-depth work experience in the energy industry, primarily in the North American, Asian, and African energy sectors. Since founding Blue Horizon ECS, he has independently and collaboratively sold, managed and implemented various energy consulting projects ranging from investor/developer market entry strategies to government renewable energy policy. He has also recently been involved with several electricity sector studies across sub-Saharan Africa, such as tariff studies, cost of supply, energy market restructuring, and policy/regulatory reviews for various countries (e.g., Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Namibia, and South Africa). He obtained a bachelor of science degree in Energy Systems Engineering from Stanford University.

Aaron Morrow Managing Partner | Global Energy Analytics

Aaron Morrow is an accomplished renewable energy project development and consulting professional with a history of utilizing his strong analytical skills to screen, evaluate and develop clean energy projects and markets. Aaron assists his clients and advances renewable and alternative energy project concepts from market and opportunity evaluation through development, financing and commercialization. His experience in the clean energy space includes international market and project development with a deep understanding of renewable and distributed energy technologies including solar, wind, fuel cells, microturbines, combined heat and power, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency.

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