Saudi Arabia Plans $109 Billion Boost for Solar Power

12/05/2012 10:38 AST

Saudi Arabia is seeking investors for a $109 billion plan to create a solar industry that generates a third of the nation’s electricity by 2032, according to officials at the agency developing the plan.

The world’s largest crude oil exporter aims to have 41,000 megawatts of solar capacity within two decades, said Maher al- Odan, a consultant at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. Khalid al-Suliman, vice president for the organization known as Ka-care, said on May 8 in Riyadh that nuclear, wind and geothermal would contribute 21,000 megawatts.

“We are not only looking for building solar plants,” al- Odan said in an interview in Riyadh yesterday. “We want to run a sustainable solar energy sector that will become a driver for the domestic energy for years to come.”

The comments highlight the scale of Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to boost renewable energy use as a way to pare back on oil consumption used for domestic desalinization and power plants, potentially saving 523,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day over the next 20 years.

For the solar panel manufacturers such as First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and SunPower Corp. (SPWR), the Saudi Arabian market would open a huge new market as European countries reduce subsidies to keep a lid on installations. Panel sales may dip this year for the first time in more than a decade from 27,700 megawatts installed last year, according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg on March 9.

‘Less Profitable’
“These markets are likely to be a lot less profitable than existing markets,” Vishal Shah, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in New York, wrote in a note to clients yesterday, noting the Saudis may require bid winners to supply from factories built in the nation. “It looks like both First Solar and SunPower would need to set up local manufacturing.”

First Solar dropped 4.9 percent yesterday, taking its slide this year to 55 percent. SunPower slid 0.7 percent, for a 16 percent decline this year.

Ka-care is the government agency set up in April 2010 to oversee the nation’s renewable energy strategy. Its plans are likely to be approved later this year, al-Suliman said, according to a copy of the presentation he gave on May 8.

The government is targeting 25,000 megawatts from solar thermal plants, which use mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on heating fluids that turns a power turbine. Another 16,000 megawatts would come from photovoltaic panels, according to the Deutsche Bank note.

For more on this:

Economic and Business News
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | News Archive
Most Viewed Companies
Ticker Price Volume
STC 67.66 440,643
SAGRINSURANCE 31.41 724,533
RIBL 12.54 519,519
SABIC 89.82 6,416,421
ALMARAI 79.2 271,141
TAWUNIYA 83.98 86,678
Recent News

Mideast funds positive on stocks, bearish on bonds
Middle East fund managers have become slightly more positive on regional equities after valuations fell, and more bearish on bonds because of a looming US interest rate hike, a monthly Reuters survey

UAE’s Dolphin Energy seals $863 million loan
Dolphin Energy, the Abu Dhabi government-controlled venture that produces and transports natural gas to the UAE and Oman, has secured an $863 million loan from banks.

The 15-year loan clos

Oil glut lingers ahead of Opec meeting
Oman crude oil trading on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange last month remained in full bearish mode as continued concerns of a supply glut going into 2016 pushed prices to the lowest levels since early

Qatar index jumps as investors think slump overdone
Qatar stocks jumped more than 4 per cent in trade on Tuesday led by banks as investors thought the slump was overdone.

The Qatar Exchange index closed 4.4 per cent higher at the day’s high

UAE budget deficit falls by 26%
The UAE's fiscal balance improved in the second quarter of the year, as the highly successful policy of doing away with petroleum subsidies has been a key contributory factor to greater fiscal stabil

GulfBase GCC Index
Search By
  • Company Symbol
  • Company Name
  • Mutual Fund Name
  • News Content
Send this page to a friend


Looking ahead, what change you are more likely to make in investing in your domestic stock market?