Saudi Arabia considers a sunnier future: $109bn solar industry options
Saudi Arabia started a program to assess its potential for generating renewable energy, part of an effort to lure $109 billion for building a solar industry that will free up more of its crude oil for export. King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (Ka-Care), the organization responsible of devising the Kingdom’s strategy, will install at least 70 stations nationwide to measure the ability to produce electricity from the sun, wind, geothermal and waste sources, according to a statement issued Monday.
Ka-Care said 10 stations already have been installed. The findings will be published in a national atlas by yearend, which will guide investors and researchers studying where to place generation plants. Saudi Arabia will present a national policy statement on renewable and nuclear power generation later this year as it seeks to diversify energy resources, Khalid Al Sulaiman, vice president at Ka-Care, said in January.
The Kingdom has said it plans to attract about $109 billion to create a solar industry that will generate a third of its electricity by 2032, or about 41,000 megawatts. It’s part of a wider program to generate 54 gigawatts from different sources including nuclear.
Currently, about 3 megawatts of solar power plants are working in Saudi Arabia, a capacity that trails Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and the UAE, Bloomberg reported earlier.