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Initiatives for Solar Energy in Saudi Arabia

Published at: Feb 15, 2010
source: Arab News

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Saudi Arabia launches initiatives for producing desalinated water through solar energy

The use of coal for energy production is increasing again worldwide and new research results show a less amount of fossil fuel resources available globally with fears that the peak oil era will arrive earlier than thought.

This would affect Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer very much and so the country started initiatives with the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) for promoting the use of Solar Energy.

In a first phase the Saudi Arabian government builds a 10 MW Desalination Plant powered by solar energy. This will reduce the costs for water to less than 1 SR/m3 and for electricity to less than 30 Halalas/kWh. The aim is to make solar energy a big supplier of power in the upcoming 5 - 10 years - supported by the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Al-Naimi. “Saudi Arabia aspires to export as much solar energy in the future as it exports oil now,” Al-Naimi said.

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