Founder and Chairperson of Qalaa Holdings, Ahmed Haikal, participated in the Future of Investment Initiative 2019, known as Davos in the Desert, in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Heikal engaged in a panel discussion on the energy resources and means of developing integrated and sustainable systems in the field of clean energy. He highlighted the presence of a huge amount of bank liquidity around the world, which makes such models in the field of solar energy applicable at appropriate prices. He added that the integration between the advancement made in technology and the bank loans will cut the solar energy prices in the near future.
He stressed that policy makers around the world, and the Middle East in particular, are aware that fuel subsidy is no longer tolerable, noting that statistics on the energy sector in Egypt show that growth reach 5.5% annually over the last three years, while diesel consumption was reduced by 6%.
Heikal noted that achieving efficiency and investment flows to countries will only be achieved when governments prioritise deregulation of energy products and leave price controls to market supply and demand.
He added that the low cost of energy production from solar power plants, from $1m three or four years ago to $550,000 per 1MW now, has made a positive impact on the sector.
He stressed that there is a need to correct fuel pricing mechanisms, considering the government intervention in setting prices will result in wrong decisions at the local and global levels, while the current decline in energy prices will have a positive impact on water prices.
Ghada Hamouda, head of marketing and sustainability at Qalaa Holdings, also partook in the event and shed light on the importance of the achievements made in Egypt and Saudi Arabia to integrate women.
She highlighted the value added from women participating in the economy and pushing productivity forward and raising the GDP in a time when there are concerns over the future of the world economy and weak global growth.