Saudi Arabia is set to offer more than 1 gigawatt of contracts to buy renewable electricity by the fourth quarter of this year, according to an official speaking this week. The plans are part of the country’s recently-announced intention to grow its renewable energy sources and spur development of wind and solar.
Speaking at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Turki al-Shehri, head of renewable energy project development at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, announced that the country will auction power purchase agreements (PPAs) worth 620 megawatts (MW) for solar PV and 400 MW for wind farms in its second round of tenders by the end of this year.
Earlier this month Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, revealed that his country was aiming to produce 10% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030 — amounting to around 30 wind and solar projects worth 9.5 gigawatts (GW). “The energy mix to produce electricity will change, today the kingdom uses large quantities of oil liquids, including crude, fuel oil and diesel,” al-Falih said. “So the percentage of renewable energy by 2023 (will be) 10 percent of total installed capacity in the kingdom.”
Speaking on Monday, Turki al-Shehri further explained the next step in the country’s plans. “It is truly unprecedented for the kingdom,” he said. “The kingdom has set a truly wonderful vision. The tenders that were recently issued, this is only the beginning of our accomplishment. We are open for business.”
Saudi Arabia earlier this month also revealed that it had cleared 27 companies to bid for a 300 MW solar power plant, and 24 firms to bid for a 400 MW wind farm.