Solar power in Saudi Arabia

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Solar potential

Solar power in Saudi Arabia has become more important to the country as oil prices have risen. In 2011, over 50% of electricity was produced by burning oil.[1] The Saudi agency in charge of developing the nations renewable energy sector, Ka-care, announced in May 2012 that the nation would install 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2032. It is projected to be composed of 25 GW of solar thermal, and 16 GW of photovoltaics. At the time of this announcement, Saudi Arabia had only 0.003 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity.[2] A total of 24 GW of renewable energy is expected by 2020, and 54 GW by 2032.[3] In January 2015, it was announced that the plan was delayed with completion not occurring until 2040.[4]

Saudi Arabia's first solar power plant was commissioned on October 2, 2011, on Farasan Island. It is a 500 kW fixed tilt photovoltaic plant.

A 200 kW rooftop installation is planned for Riyadh, and is expected to generate 330 MWh/year.[5]

1,100 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics and 900 megawatts of concentrated solar thermal (CSP) is expected to be completed by early 2013.[6]

Due to rising oil prices and decreasing costs of utility-scale solar installations, solar power in Saudi Arabia has achieved grid parity and can produce electricity at costs comparable to conventional sources.[7]

Year Photovoltaics CSP
2011 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saudi Arabia poised to become solar powerhouse
  2. ^ Wael Mahdi and Marc Roca. "Saudi Arabia Plans $109 Billion Boost for Solar Power." Bloomberg News. May 11, 2012 9:23 AM CT
  3. ^ Solar power export to Europe planned by KSA
  4. ^ Saudi Arabia Delays $109 Billion Solar Plant by 8 Years, Bloomberg, Anthony DiPaola January 20, 2015
  5. ^ Saudi Arabia adds PV rooftop systems to Financial District towers in Riyadh
  6. ^ Saudi Arabia Plan $109 Billion Solar Energy Project to Reduce Oil Consumption
  7. ^ Michael Deaves (February 27, 2013). "Solar Achieves Grid Parity in Saudi Arabia". ClearSky Advisors. Retrieved 2013-03-19.