Saudi Arabia started a program to assess its potential for generating renewable energy, part of an effort to lure $109 billion for building a solar industry that will free up more of its crude oil for export.
King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, the organization responsible of devising the kingdom’s strategy, will install at least 70 stations nationwide to measure the ability to produce electricity from the sun, wind, geothermal and waste sources, according to a statement issued yesterday and carried by official Saudi Press Agency. The agency known as Ka-Care said 10 stations already have been installed.
The findings will be published in a national atlas by year end, which will guide investors and researchers studying where to place generation plants.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, will present a national policy statement on renewable and nuclear power generation later this year as it seeks to diversify energy resources, Khalid Al Sulaiman, vice president at Ka-Care, said in January.
The kingdom has said it plans to attract about $109 billion to create a solar industry that will generate a third of its electricity by 2032, or about 41,000 megawatts. It’s part of a wider program to generate 54 gigawatt from different sources including nuclear.
Currently, about 3 megawatts of solar power plants are working in Saudi Arabia, a capacity that trails Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and the U.A.E., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.