Stockholm (NordSIP) – Saudi Arabia is turning to solar and wind power in the effort to reduce dependence on oil to meet growing energy demand, Bloomberg reports.
In a $50 billion initiative, the Kingdom is enjoining bidders to present offers by March 20. Bidders should be qualified to build in excess of 700 megawatts of wind and solar power.
“This marks the starting point of a long and sustained program of renewable energy deployment in Saudi Arabia that will not only diversify our power mix but also catalyse economic development,” Khalid Al-Falih, the country’s energy minister said. He emphasized the ministry’s vision is to set up “the most attractive, competitive and well executed government renewable energy investment programs in the world.”
In the effort to build more solar, wind and nuclear power plants in order to diversify away from crude sales as the main source of government income, Saudi Arabia envisages developing close to 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023. This will require investments between $30 and $50 billion, the minister underlined.
Two projects are already underfoot: A 300-megawatt solar facility at Sakaka, in the Kingdom’s northern province of Al Jouf, and a 400-megawatt wind plant at Midyan, in north-western Tabuk.
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