Saudi Arabia Makes Big Bet On Solar
By Sean Ford | December 19, 2012
When you think of Saudi Arabia, you may have images of a Middle East state that benefits from having massive oil reserves. What you may not realise is that the situation is currently changing at a significant rate. This country, which has relied so heavily on oil to create wealth, is turning its attention to the potential offered by solar power installations.
The scale of the investment that has recently been announced may come as something of a surprise. The Saudi government is planning to invest $100 billion in the solar industry and the case of a single city is truly enlightening.
In King Abdullah City, it’s been suggested that the plan is to increase capacity to a point where 41,000 megawatts will be available via solar energy within 20 years. That’s the equivalent of building two new nuclear power plants every year for the next two decades.
So why should an oil-rich state turn its attention to solar energy in this way? The decision has obviously been taken that solar is the future, while oil represents the past.
What’s clear is that this represents a significant investment in a technology that is set to transform the way in which power is generated on a global scale. Indeed, many nations are taking the same approach as Saudi Arabia, with large sums being invested in solar energy.
More than 750,000 home owners in Australia are making use of solar power and other nations, from Germany to China, are looking to expand solar capacity.
Here in the UK, I do see more and more solar PV installations when I’m on my travels. They are present on an increasing number of rooftops and it seems like many people have been able to take advantage of the grants and incentives that are on offer.
Are we making the most of the technology? I can’t help but think that there is more that we could be doing. There’s no reason why the UK should not be able to follow in the footsteps of the nations that are leading the way when it comes to solar power. Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below…