Saudi Arabia Aims to Become Solar Powerhouse
The Kingdom is starting to shift from oil to renewable energy.
Saudi Arabia is now putting in efforts in becoming a solar powerhouse. The Kingdom has plans to invest billions in renewable energy sources. Up until now, the country’s main source of revenue is from its oil production and less than one per cent of its energy is renewable.
It’s been reported that Riyadh is planning to invest around $30-$50 billion in renewable energy over the next 15 years. In addition to harnessing wind power and launching two nuclear reactors with a total output of 2.8 gigawatts, they also want to develop geothermal power, which is steam from the earth. Several solar energy project are currently in the works.
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Last month, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil and gas producer, initiated the country’s first wind turbine. It will generate 2.75 megawatts of power, which would sustain 250 households. It would also allow the company to reduce diesel burning by around 18,600 barrels of oil per year. This is only the first of many steps to reduce Saudi’s dependence on oil.
This move will not only benefit and diversify the Kingdom’s economy but it’s also a step forward for a cleaner environment. New energy sectors means that usage of fossil fuels will decrease and as a result, CO2 emissions will be reduced significantly. This will also create many new job opportunities.
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These changes are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan. The main goal of the plan is to start diversifying the economy by relying on revenues from other sources than oil and to develop service sectors.