Molten salt tech to offer ‘competitive solution’ to fossil fuels: ACWA Power founder

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Storing renewable energy using molten salt technology will become a “competitive solution” to fossil fuels, ACWA Power founder Mohammed Abu Nayyan said on Wednesday.

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Speaking during the sixth Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Saudi Arabia, Nayyan discussed how energy storage is one advantage that renewable power has over fossil fuels.

“We started this in 2014 and it is really happening, and it is operating, and [it’s] going to be a competitive solution,” he said of molten salt storage.

Nayyan added a caveat, acknowledging “that does not mean that we are going to shift from conventional to renewable in one day.”

“It will take time.”

The technology involves heating liquid salt and then storing it in insulated containers. Energy can then be harnessed by using the heated liquid to power generators.

Nayyan noted the progress that Saudi Arabia and ACWA Power have made in recent years in developing sustainable technologies.

“I still remember when people were saying that solar is not going to be economical, it’s not affordable,” he said.

“Where we brought it to the level today that it is the cheapest production in the whole world. And the same thing with wind, and the same thing with the green hydrogen.”

The affordability of renewable energy in different parts of the world is also something to consider when examining new technologies, Nayyan added.

“Nobody is looking to affordability, because what makes economic sense in Europe… cannot be affordable in Africa.”

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