Saudi plans to buy renewable electricity

New company aims to help Saudi Arabia diversify its energy resources
Solar energy, renewable energy, clean energy generic
By Neil King
Wed 16 Jan 2013 02:42 PM

Renewable energy will be bought by Saudi Arabia to help ease the country’s reliance on crude or fuel oil, and to cut carbon emissions.

The world’s largest crude oil exporter will form a new company to buy power from generators of renewable energy, while covering any cost difference between the purchase and sale prices.

Speaking at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Khalid Al Sulaiman, vice president at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (Ka-Care), said: “There will be an offtaker and the offtaker will sell to a distribution company. That offtaker will have to pay the difference between the cost of the electricity and the price the distributor pays.”

Ka-Care is tasked with reducing the country’s reliance on burning crude or fuel oil for electricity generation, which has the added benefits of cutting carbon emissions and saving oil for export.

Saudi Arabia plans to attract nearly US$110bn in solar investment to generate a third of its electricity by 2032, amounting to 41,000 megawatts. It currently has about three megawatts of solar installations.

Al Sulaiman added that Saudi Arabia has joined membership of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which held its general assembly meeting in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.

The non-governmental agency was established in Germany in 2009 with the aim of endorsing and encouraging use of renewable and sustainable energy of various types.

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