Saudi Arabia is working towards generating 50% of the nation’s power needs using renewable energy, with the remainder provided by gas. The kingdom wants to add gas and renewables capacity equating to one million barrels of oil per day by 2030.
Riyadh’s efforts for steering the kingdom towards greener sources of energy included the recent signing of seven major agreements to produce electricity from solar power in various parts of the country.
The new projects will have the capacity to power over 600,000 households in the kingdom. The output capacity of these projects, in addition to the projects of Sakaka and Dumat Al Jandal, will amount to more than 3,600MW.
Apart from powering households, the projects, according to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million tons.
Saudi Arabia aims “to nationalize the renewable energy sector, promote the local content in it, and enable the manufacturing of the components of solar and wind energy production locally, allowing the Kingdom, within the next ten years, to become a global hub for conventional energy, renewable energy, and their technologies,” said the Crown Prince.
“A few weeks ago, the ‘Green Saudi’ initiative and the ‘Green Middle East’ initiative were announced. I explained that, as a world-leading oil producer, we are well aware of our share of responsibility in advancing the fight against climate change. In continuation of our leading role in the stability of the energy markets, we will carry on playing the same role to lead in the area of renewable energy,” he added.
The Kingdom’s latest initiatives towards sustainability and renewable energy represent substantive parts of the country’s leadership role towards shared international issues and are part of efforts made by the Kingdom during its presidency of the G20 Summit.
“These projects are a practical on-the-ground application of Saudi Vision 2030, that contributes to the optimization of the energy mix and the transformation of the Kingdom from the use of liquid fuel to gas and renewables, which makes these projects significant landmarks in the journey of the energy sector,” said Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman.
He pointed out that the new projects are located in Al Madinah, Sudair, Qurayyat, Shuaibah, Jeddah, Rabigh, and Rafha.
Some of these projects, Prince Abdulaziz added, have set new world records for the lowest cost of solar-produced electricity. The Shuaibah project’s cost of electricity is 1.04 US cents per kWh.