Saudi Arabia puts world’s biggest solar power project on hold

Image credit: BBC

One Saudi energy official commented: “Everyone is just hoping this whole idea would just die”. Looks like it has run into the sand.

Citing Saudi government officials, the US business daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday that Saudi plans to build the world’s biggest solar power generation facility had been shelved, as the desert kingdom was working on a “broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy.”

The solar project was expected to generate about 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030 — more than three times the country’s daily needs.

“It is easy to sway or grab one’s attention, but difficult to do any execution,” WSJ quoted a senior adviser to the Saudi government as saying. Now, no-one was actively working on the project, the source added.

SoftBank, which is a partner in the $200-billion (€172.4-billion) project, was not immediately available for comment. The Japanese financial group together with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund has already created a $100-billion venture, called The Vision Fund, aimed at boosting technology investment in the country, including in Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy sector.

Broader strategy

Despite vast deserts and abundant sunshine, Saudi Arabia currently has no solar power generation capacities, producing its energy primarily from burning fossil fuels.

However, under plans initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman it wants to move away from a heavy dependence on its oil sector toward a more diverse structure of its economy.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

October 1, 2018 at 04:57AM

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