Leon Kaye

Saudi Arabia Promises $109 Billion in Solar Power Investment

by , 05/14/12

Saudi Arabia, solar, solar thermal, solar power, solar energy, renewable energy, clean energy, carbon emissions

Saudi Arabia has long been a wealthy country because of its enormous oil reserves. But the kingdom also is rich in sunlight, and it now promises to invest over $100 billion to develop 41 gigawatts of solar electricity by 2032. The plan could eventually transform Saudi Arabia from the world’s largest oil exporter to a leading innovator of solar energy and technologies.

Saudi Arabia, solar, solar thermal, solar power, solar energy, renewable energy, clean energy, carbon emissions

The plan calls for the majority of the Saudis’ future solar energy capacity, 25 GW, to come from solar thermal technologies. Photovoltaic panels at massive solar installations would generate an additional 16 GW of energy for the country. The bidding process for these renewable energy plants will begin next year. Meanwhile, the country will also roll out a subsidy plan similar to the feed-in tariff programs that have allowed solar technology to prosper in countries like Germany.

Saudis Arabia’s neighbors, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are also coming to terms with their stratospheric carbon emissions and the damage that the oil economy, and the lifestyle currently enjoyed thanks to the quick riches petroleum has created, have had on the Middle East’s environment. But for Saudi Arabia, the move towards solar energy is a strategic business decision. Additional energy generated from sources like solar means more oil and gas, which will go nowhere but upwards in price, can be exported abroad. And in the long run, that means more of a financial windfall for the Saudis as they use less of their oil and gas at home while selling it elsewhere. But if the results are less pollution and improved solar technologies over time, then Saudi Arabia’s slow shift towards more solar and other renewables will still benefit the clean energy industry and more importantly, the Earth.

Via PV Magazine, Treehugger, Triple Pundit.

Photos of Mecca and Saudi Arabian landscape via Wikipedia (Adiput, Baptiste Marcel)

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3 Comments

  1. minwookim May 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Japan’s FiT in July is among the highest in the world. It’s clear that Japan’s FiT will shake the solar market. Saudi Arabia has the same options. Now, they’re using it. What about your country? New solar technology will show with these nations. This is it!
    As you know, earthquake in japan is happening frequently. Floating solar panels installation is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. So you have to reduce the vibration to install Floating solar panels. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! The vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating solar panels installation has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, this Floating Body Stabilizers using to reduce the Vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can see New Floating Body Stabilizer videos in YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moO–q5B92k, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA_xFp5ktbU&feature=youtu.be.

  2. bed2 May 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    If any entity in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere is interested in investing in the biorefinery industry … converting biomass waste into biofuels, chemicals, power and other beneficial products … please visit: http://www.bioenergydesign.com

  3. helona May 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    very clever move and i hope many countries with such abilities invest in solar energy. their economy will benefit and even more the planet and its inhabitants. I wonder have they found sustainable means of storing and transferring the energy produced?? somebody should invest on that as well.STORAGE & DISTRIBUTION TO LONG DISTANCES WITH MINIMAL LOSSES.

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