Saudi Arabia needs much more solar power says Arabian energy adviser

Saudi Arabia needs to install much more solar power than any other country has managed to do so far, while simultaneously developing more nuclear power plants, the country’s King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) advisory body has warned.

The organisation announced its recommendations at the Saudi Solar Forum recently describing Arabia as a future “Kingdom of Sustainable Energy”.

KACARE is responsible for planning the country’s energy mix and it believes that Arabia should aim for around 41 GW of solar production by 2032, enough to produce about a third of the country’s energy demand. Of this, 25 GW should be from concentrated solar power (CSP) while the remaining 16 GW should be from solar photovoltaic (PV). It also claims that the country needs to develop 21 GW worth of nuclear power plant representing a sixth of installed capacity. The remaining energy demand should be met from oil and gas.

Another leading green media site described this objective as one of the most ambitious solar power plans outlined by any country at present in terms of installed capacity, with the next ambitious country being India. In its statement KACARE said that the main objectives are a reduction in the amount of oil burned for power and the establishment of a solar power industry with accompanying job creation.

At present Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and so its contribution to global renewable energy has been minimal at less than 50 MW. The country claimed some years ago that it would become a major solar power producer. It’s stated target, 41,000 MW, would put the country at the top of the global solar power table. Meanwhile, Germany reached 7,000 MW of installed capacity in both 2010 and 2011 thereby producing a total figure of 25,000 MW by the end of last year.

KACARE believes that nuclear remains the best way of generating ‘baseload’ electricity and the 21 MW of nuclear it recommends would mean more reactors being built in Arabia than any country other than China, Russia, the USA and India according to data collected by the World Nuclear Association.

The Lebanon Daily Star



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