Saudi Arabia will start issuing tenders for a huge renewable energy program, specifically for solar and wind power, which contemplates an investment worth $30-50 billion, according to the country’s oil minister, Khalid al-Falih.
Unveiling more of his previously announced ambition to turn the country into a powerhouse when it comes to harnessing solar energy, Falih said that they are targeting renewable energy projects with a capacity of 10GW by 2023.
The commitment to invest heavily in widening the energy mix in Saudi Arabia is built on previous pledges to use alternative power sources as part of the country’s plans to curb its dependence on crude oil production by 2030. It is ascertained that clean energy definitely forms a major part of this national program, considering that the country has gone through a fiscal crisis after two years of sustained low oil prices. The plan had set an initial target of having a capacity of 3.45MW of renewable energy by 2020.
Aside from the renewable energy program, the country is in the early stages of design and feasibility proposals for its first commercial nuclear power stations that will provide 2.8GW of power. During a renewable energy conference in Abu Dhabi, al-Falih said:
“There will be significant investment in nuclear energy.”
This is a solid indication that the country is also committed to developing nuclear energy.
Moreover, al-Falih revealed that they would also turn to natural gas as a feedstock for producing local electricity.