- Saudi Arabia launches major renewable energy initiative
Saudi Arabia launches major renewable energy initiative
The world’s largest exporter of crude oil will award tenders to build 700MW of solar and wind energy projects this September as part of a broader government plan to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy.
Initial plans target the Kingdom’s northwestern regions: 300MW of solar plants in Al Jouf and 400MW of wind installations in Tabuk. International and domestic companies are being invited to qualify, with bidding itself to take place in April, according to Khalid A Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.
“The terms on renewable contracts will be motivating so that the cost of generating power from these renewable sources will be the lowest in the world,” said Al-Falih at a news conference in Riyadh, according to Bloomberg.
He described the planned installations as the largest in the region (size-wise) and the first Saudi project to be tendered through private-public partnership. A new Renewable Energy Development Office has been established to oversee and implement the project under the auspices of the Energy Ministry.
The initiative marks the first phase of Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP). It aims to deploy a total 9.5GW of renewable domestic energy (and attract between US$30bn and US$50bn in investments) by the year 2023.
“We have vast renewable energy resources and by exploiting them, we work towards our Sustainable Development Goals and reinforce our position as the world’s most reliable supplier of energy, allowing us to accelerate economic transformation,” Al-Falih said.