Saudi Arabia plans massive renewable push

World’s second largest oil producer looks to rebalance its energy consumption with renewable investment

For a country so rich in fossil fuels, Saudi Arabia has accumulated a vast wealth from the world’s insatiable appetite for oil. But one day these natural resources will run out, and the Saudi administration have sought to diversify the country’s energy provision by heavily investing in more sustainable forms of production.

The country has just launched a scheme that would see capacity of 54GW operational by 2032, making Saudi Arabia one of the world’s largest green energy producers.

By 2020, Saudi Arabia will have installed 23.9GW

Saudi Arabia currently produces around 12.5m barrels of oil each day, but is also seeing increased demand from domestic users, meaning energy exports may have to be cut.

The department in charge of the scheme, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), said it wanted to award contracts for the projects by the end of the year. The first three contracts are estimated to be worth around $10bn and will generate 7GW. By 2020, the country will have installed 23.9GW, with a strong focus on solar power, as well as nuclear, wind, geothermal and bio fuels.

While the new infrastructure will help support the country’s energy exports, there will also be a minimum requirement for local provision, as well as contributions toward research and development for the renewable industry, said KACARE.

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