Saudi Arabia to become major solar power exporter under new plan

The Saudi solar initiative will diversify the national economy and stimulate investment in non-oil industries. The project will also reduce solar power production costs and create employment opportunities, with up to 100,000 jobs in solar power schemes alone. (SPA)
Updated 03 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to become major solar power exporter under new plan

  • Kingdom aims to produce 200 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030
  • Up 100,000 new jobs expected in solar power schemes alone
Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to transform its solar power production, in line with the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the country’s economy and end its reliance on oil.
Under the Solar Power Project Plan 2030, the Kingdom expects to produce 200 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
At the launch of the plan, experts said the project will transform the Kingdom into a leading exporter of sustainable energy, thanks to its natural resources and environmentally friendly industries relying on sun, wind, and sand rich in silica.
Solar power will be the world’s largest energy source by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.
The Saudi solar initiative will help to diversify the national economy and stimulate investment in non-oil industries. The project will also reduce solar power production costs and create employment opportunities for Saudi workers, with up to 100,000 jobs in solar power schemes alone.
Meanwhile, King Saud University in Riyadh has joined a research project with Japan and Peru to monitor changes in the sun and their effects on Earth.
The Kingdom’s history of solar research goes back 38 years, when King Salman opened the research plant at King Abdul Aziz City — the first solar power site in the Kingdom. The plant provided solar electricity to Uyayna, Jubaila and rural centers near Riyadh.
The solar village, part of a Saudi-US partnership, produces 350 kilowatts of electricity through concentrated photovoltaic complexes.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has outlined Saudi Arabia’s transformation into a “Kingdom of Sustainable Energy” era within five months. In October 2017, Riyadh hosted the beginning of the development of the strategy (Solar Plan 2030) with the participation of the Public Investment Fund and Softbank Vision Fund.
On March 28, during his groundbreaking visit to the US, the crown prince signed a memorandum of understanding with Softbank Vision Fund to create a plant for the project, which would be completed and ready to start production of solar energy by early 2019.
Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, said: “Saudi Arabia’s current energy needs are 75 gigawatts. The 2030 solar plan would enable the Kingdom to export surplus electricity and thus provide alternative energy to the Kingdom’s oil.”


Al-Sudais condemns Riyadh attack

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques. (Supplied)
Updated 45 min 45 sec ago
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Al-Sudais condemns Riyadh attack

  • The secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars noted the efforts of security services in Zulfi to preserve the safety of the country and protect its people

RIYADH: Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, has condemned the terrorist attack carried out in Zulfi on Sunday.
“Such terrorist acts are a clear contravention of Shariah laws and a violation of the Sunnah of the Prophet, and are nothing but a trick by the enemies of Islam to create strife and turbulence, targeting the security, stability and capabilities of the Kingdom,” he said.
Al-Sudais praised the courage of security services who were able to thwart the attack, and he urged Saudis to support their efforts to prevent future offenses by reporting suspicious activity.
He added that criminal acts such as the attempt in Zulfi endangered the security and stability of the Kingdom, and concluded his statement by asking God to protect the country and heal those wounded in the attack. The secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars noted the efforts of security services in Zulfi to preserve the safety of the country and protect its people.
In a statement, it thanked those involved, and said that their success in thwarting the terrorists, who targeted the investigation center in Zulfi, was a clear endorsement of the rigorous procedures and efforts put in place by the state and others to maintain peace in the Kingdom.