Saudi Arabia announces ambitions renewable energy program with a focus on solar, but also including geothermal energy as option.
Reported by Bloomberg and other media outlets, Saudi Arabia is starting an ambitious investment project to develop up to 41,000 MW in solar power capacity and 21,000 MW combined nuclear, wind and geothermal power generation capacity.
It is so far unclear how large the geothermal portion of those planned 21,000 MW is, but it shows an interesting direction. While the focus clearly is on solar and with planned and sought after $109 billion in solar investments, seeing geothermal mentioned is a huge step.
Saudi Arabia set up Ka-care as a government agency to oversee the nation’s renewable energy strategy and it is expected that “its plans are likely to be approved later this year”.
The country plans to diversify its energy mix to reduce its dependence on oil, which could allow it to sell the displaced oil on the international markets increasing the IRRs for any renewable investment.
Ka-care estimates that Saudi Arabia’s peak electricity demand will reach 121,000 MW within the next 20 years with about 50 percent of that power generated from hydrocarbon fuel.