Saudi Arabia begins $50 billion renewable energy push

Saudi Arabia begins $50 billion renewable energy push

Saudi Arabia has initiated its US$50 billion drive for renewable energy solutions to the Middle Eastern nation’s growing energy demand.

This new focus on renewables by the world’s biggest exporter of crude oil reflects an attempt to reduce its reliance on oil-based power and balance its domestic energy mix.

A round of bidding has begun for the construction of 700MW of wind and solar plants, with submission documents to be handed by 20 March, and winners announced on 10 April.

“This marks the starting point of a long and sustained programme of renewable energy deployment in Saudi Arabia that will not only diversify our power mix but also catalyse economic development,” said Khalid Al-Falih Saudi Arabia’s energy minister in a statement.

The initiation of bidding for these renewable energy projects marks the first stage of Saudi Arabia’s plan to develop almost 10GW of energy from renewable sources by 2023.

Bidding will commence on a 300MW solar field at Sakaka in the country’s northern Al Jouf province, along with a 400-megawatt wind farm at Midyan in northwestern Tabuk province.