Saudi Arabia gets serious on solar

A Lastest News about Energy in Saudi Arabia

Last updated: 27 Sep 2011

Saudi Arabia is due to introduce a national renewable energy law this autumn to back its US$100 billion spending drive aimed at meeting its needs and weaning the country off dependence on its oil reserves, the world's largest.

The new law is to be the forerunner of a solar-focused organisation which will initially purchase solar energy and invite project developers to submit bids to take the country into self-renewable energy programmes.

The roadmap for development of the Saudi renewable and nuclear energy sector was laid out last April at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), accompanied by a forum on solar energy options.

The kingdom sees solar power and other non-hydrocarbon sources as crucial in its plan to boost generating capacity by 50% this decade. Saudi Arabia is among a number of Middle East oil producers that need to produce more electricity to sustain regional growth.

At present, Saudi consumption of energy relies on its own supplies of oil. National daily demand is set to double to 8.3 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2028 from 3.4 million equivalent in 2009, according to the Bloomberg news service.

Saudi Arabia's solar capacity is reportedly already growing quickly to become a 120mw market in 2016, said US-based publication Energy Tribune.

Saudi Arabia and Morocco are two of the strongest markets in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) when it comes to solar demand, Energy Tribune has shown.

Morocco's solar energy capacity is set to grow more modestly to form a 54mw market the same year.

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Posted: 27 September 2011, last updated 27 September 2011

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