Solar workshop in Riyadh

German and Saudi representatives from industry and research have met on the 19th and 20th of November in Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to initiate intensive discussions on the construction of solar power plants and future cooperation in the field of solar thermal energy (concentrated solar power / CSP).

40 German senior managers from 17 various industrial companies did participate. More than 60 high ranking representatives of 28 Saudi companies and institutions attended the first joint Saudi-German CSP Workshop. The two-day event aimed at the future cooperation between German and Saudi research institutions, as well as at the development of industrial cooperation between enterprises of the two countries.

H.E. Meshari S. Al-Khaled of the Saudi General Investment Authority (SAGIA) emphasized the importance of the gathering calling it “an event of great importance for the transfer of knowledge and the development of a future technology in the Kingdom”. The Secretary General of the Council of Saudi Chambers Mr. Khaled Al-Otaibi expected the workshop to be the “start of a cooperation in a field of industry where needs and requirements meet perfectly”. The event took place under the patronage of the German Embassy in Riyadh. H.E. Ambassador Dieter Haller called the Joint Saudi German Work “a one of its kind example for cooperation to lay the foundation in a field of academic and industrial cooperation between the two countries”.

The workshop has been initiated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the leading European Competence Center for solar thermal power generation. It was financially supported by the German Ministry of Environment, that over the years ha shown a great interest in promoting the cooperation between Germany and the MENA region in the field of solar research and development.

The first day of the workshop has been focusing on R&D-collaboration in the field of solar thermal energy production. It was hosted by KA CARE, the governmental institution which is mandated to establish the technical and legal framework for solar energy in Saudi Arabia. DLR and KA CARE agreed to work on a cooperation agreement on most relevant fields of CSP-technology including its applications. The planned research collaboration will have a strong practical orientation.

The second day of the workshop did put the industrial collaboration of German and Saudi enterprises in the focus of attention. Businessmen and managers from both countries discussed ways and fields of cooperation. This is even more important as the Saudi government intends to combine the implementation of solar energy production with the development of a local solar industry. This is where the German CSP specialists are meant to assist as they have excellent and long-term experience in the field of solar thermal technology development.

Saudi Arabia has announced an ambitious program to set up solar energy in the Kingdom. Until 2032 a total of 41 Gigawatt of solar capacity shall be installed, of which 26 Gigawatt are meant to be produced with solar thermal technology which is predestined for Saudi Arabia. Thus Saudi Arabia will become one of the world’s most important markets for solar energy. This way turning “Saudi Arabia from the Kingdom of Energy to the Kingdom of sustainable Energy”, as Dr. Maher Alodan, Head of R&D at KA CARE stated at the event.

The B2B-day of the workshop has been initiated by the “Deutsche CSP”, the newly founded association of leading German companies and institution of the German CSP sector jointly with the Berlin-based business consultancy hogrefe Consult, a specialist in German-Arab cooperation in the field of sustainability.


The CSP technology (Concentrated Solar Power) converts energy of the sun into heat, which in turn is used in order to generate electricity in steam turbines. These solar power plants work especially well in countries with direct sun irradiation – the sun belt of the earth on both sides of the equator up to 35 degrees latitude.

The usage of CSP plants is similar to conventional power plants. The main difference, however, is that CSP plants use solar radiation to emission-free, clean heat generation instead of fossil or nuclear fuels. Of all possible CSP technologies, parabolic trough power plants are most widely spread and can look back on more than 30 years of experience. Furthermore Tower technology and Fresnel power plants become increasingly established on the CSP market.

Solar thermal power plants are ideally suitable for large-scale us in the range from ten to 300 MW of electric power. The can substitute conventional thermal power plants without qualitative changes in the structure of the power grid.

Through the possibility of thermal storage or hybridization, turbines from CSP power plants can also generate electricity during periods of low sunlight or at night. A reliable and predictable electricity supply is therefore possible and a stable network can be guaranteed.

In addition to central power generation, CSP provides a technological basis for numerous other applications. The heat generated from a CSP plant can be used to desalinate seawater – an application that is imperative for countries in desert regions. The decentralized character of CSP systems is shaped by the interconnection with electricity, process-heat and cooling applications in the fields of industry, infrastructure and building-technology.

Participants on the German side:

German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Embassy in Riyadh, Bilfinger Piping Technologies GmbH, CSP Services, erfis, Fichtner Solar, Ghorfa, hogrefe Consult, ILF, Kraftanlagen München, Lahmeyer International, M+W Group, Novatec Solar, schlaich bergermann und partner, Schott solar, Solar Tower Systems, Suntrace, protarget

Stephanie Wolff
Deutsche CSP
Clausewitzstrasse 7
10629 Berlin

Tel.:+49 30 609839438

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