Saudi Kicks Off New Solar Projects, Gets Realistic With Long-Term Goals

Riyadh is advancing solar projects equivalent to six times tiny current capacity. Though slashing long-term renewables targets, adopting realistic rather than pie-in-the-sky goals indicates it is now much more serious about hitting them.

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has invited expressions of interest for the developments of two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the north of the kingdom. While their combined capacity is only 100MW – equivalent to 0.1% of Saudi Arabia’s end-2014 generating capacity of 76.8GW – this is four times the kingdom’s existing solar generating capacity.

Following on from another 50MW project announced in mid-2015, the two latest solar projects may represent a tipping point in Saudi renewables progress. The cause for optimism is that Riyadh this week also trumpeted its National Transformation Program 2020, which among broader economic targets sets pragmatic medium-term renewables objectives (see p15). (CONTINUED - 880 WORDS)

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table Saudi Solar Power Projects