Report shows solar competitive with existing generation in most MENA nations

So if we can get just a few years of support and clear messaging from our green govt this could be the UK soon.  Oh happy times......

On January 17th, 2012 the Emirates Solar Industry Association and PriceWaterhouseCoopers released a report stating that solar photovoltaic (PV) generation is currently competitive with conventional  generation across most nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
 
"Sunrise in the Desert" states that the break-even point for PV generation to be competitive without subsidies is when oil prices are above $80 per barrel or liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices are above $13/million BTU (MMBTU). The report estimates the current levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from PV in the region at $0.154/kWh, cheaper than electricity production at many conventional plants which burn either petroleum or LNG.

"MENA countries have a new way to help meet their fast-growing energy demand," states the report's Executive Summary. "This, in turn, can release more oil and gas for export to world markets."

"To take advantage of this new opportunity, MENA governments and private-sector organizations will have to work together to rationalize energy pricing, introduce appropriate regulations to accommodate solar power in the generation mix, develop large-scale projects, and, ideally, help develop local companies across of the solar value chain."

Role of subsidies stressed
The report notes that in most MENA nations, electricity prices are kept artificially low through subsidies, noting that in Saudi Arabia alone, the opportunity cost of burning crude oil for electricity generation under current subsidies is roughly $50 billion annually.

The report recommends removal of these electricity subsidies for fossil fuel generation, and the extension of those subsidies to solar power to level the playing field.