Saudi $50 billion clean power plan close to launch

Minister says private sector will be encouraged to bid for major clean energy investment programmes as country moves to diversify economy

Riyadh is primed for reform (Pic: Hamza82/Flickr)


Saudi Arabia is looking for up to US$50 billion in clean energy investments over the next six years, oil minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday.

Speaking at the annual IRENA renewable energy summit in Abu Dhabi, al-Falih reiterated the Kingdom was committed to sourcing 30% of power from non-fossil sources by 2030.

“There will be significant investment in nuclear energy,” said the influential oil chief, adding: “We will connect to Africa to exchange non-fossil sources of energy.”

Saudi ministers have long hinted the country would tilt towards major solar investments, but progress has been slow in a country heavily reliant on hydrocarbons.

In 2013, the government said it planned to invest $109 billion to build over 50 gigawatts of renewables by 2030; currently its largest solar farm is a 10 megawatt installation in Dhahran.

Under the 2015 Paris climate agreement Saudi Arabia offered little in the form of emission cuts, but last year Riyadh outlined plans to diversify away from oil.

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