Saudi’s Solar Energy Will Equal Its Oil Exports, Al-Naimi Says

Saudi Arabia plans to generate solar electricity equaling the amount of its energy from crude exports, Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has the potential by 2020 to produce enough solar power to meet more than four times global demand for electricity, al-Naimi said yesterday in a speech in Krakow, Poland, posted on the Saudi Press Agency website.

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil producers are boosting power supplies to service growing economies and populations. They are also looking for ways to use less of their exportable oil and gas as fuel for power stations.

The Kingdom may need to burn as much as 3 million barrels of oil a day by 2020 if it doesn’t improve efficiency. That’s up from 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent now to generate power facilities that are under development, Ziyad Al Shiha, the executive director of Saudi Aramco Power Systems, told reporters on May 15 at a conference in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Al-Naimi said that Saudi Aramco is planning to build the Kingdom’s biggest solar energy plant that would produce 10 megawatts of power.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in London at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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