As part of a $50-billion program to boost power generation capacity and reduce dependence on oil, Saudi Arabia plans to develop 30 renewable energy projects based on solar and wind.
During a recent conference in Riyadh, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih announced that the country is planning to produce 10% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2023. The projects are basically part of a broader plan to transform the country’s economy by lessening its dependence on fossil fuels and creating new industries. Saudi Arabia is already generating 30 to 50 mW of power from renewables by November last year, and now it wants to boost its capacity by developing 10 gW of renewables six years from now—an undertaking that requires a huge investment.
According to Al-Falih, the plan includes privatizing the country’s power industry, with Saudi Electricity Company going to be restructured in terms of its generation, distribution, and transmission. He also stated that the country is going to form another firm to trade energy locally and internationally.
Saudi Electricity president and CEO Ziyad Bin Mohammed Al-Shiha commented:
“There are no dates established yet, but the process has been moving, and we are working on that.”
Several companies, including Saudi Arabian Oil Co., are interested in participating in the second round of bidding for the renewable energy projects.
Aside from this, the government is going to offer a tender for a 400mW wind power project in the region of Dumat al-Jandal.