April 21, 2017 Read More →

Saudis Announce $50 Billion Shift to Renewables

Bloomberg News:

Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.

The world’s biggest exporter of crude oil will produce 10 percent of its power from renewables by 2023, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Monday at a conference in Riyadh. It also plans to generate an unspecified amount of electricity from nuclear plants.

The country is currently seeking bids to build 700 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity in a first round of tenders. It plans a second tender round for rights to build 400 megawatts more of wind power and an additional 620 megawatts of solar plants, Turki Al Shehri, head of the ministry’s renewable energy project development office, told reporters. Saudi Arabia will tender for the wind project in the fourth quarter at a project planned for the northern area of Domat al-Jandal, Al-Falih said.

The projects are part of a plan to transform the Saudi economy by weaning it off oil and creating new industries. Saudi Arabia plans to develop almost 10 gigawatts of renewables by 2023, requiring investment of up to $50 billion, Al-Falih said in January.

Saudi Arabia is producing around 200 megawatts from renewable sources, the energy ministry’s Al Shehri said. Investors picked to build the renewables plants in Saudi Arabia will own and operate the facilities for between 20 and 25 years, he said. They will be able to renew their operating licenses or sell the plants after that, and the government will not own the renewable projects, he said.

The energy ministry will issue a request for qualifications for the wind project in the fourth quarter, Al Shehri said.

Saudis Target 30 Solar, Wind Projects in $50 Billion Pledge

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