2018-02-05. From Oil to Solar: Saudi Arabia Plots a Shift to Renewables.

posted Feb 13, 2018, 1:26 PM by Alan Gould
By Stanley Reed, The New York Times. For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia — Life in Saudi Arabia has long been defined by the oil that flows from the kingdom. Over decades, the vast wealth it pumped out paid not just for gleaming towers and shopping malls but also for a government sector that employs a majority of working Saudis. Now, Saudi Arabia is trying to tie its future to another natural resource it has in abundance: sunlight. The world’s largest oil exporter is embarking, under Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on an ambitious effort to diversify its economy and reinvigorate growth, in part by plowing money into renewable energy. The Saudi government wants not just to reshape its energy mix at home but also to emerge as a global force in clean power. ...Saudi Arabia has talked a big game when it comes to renewables. It adopted ambitious targets for green power several years ago, but no major projects were carried out, and little changed. That is not unusual. ...For the project announced on Monday, Riyadh received bids for the solar farm, which will be built in Sakaka, in northern Saudi Arabia, that rivaled the lowest ever submitted at auctions anywhere. At 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, a wholesale measure of electricity, solar power here would be below the cost of fossil fuel-generated electricity, Mr. Shehri said.... https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/business/energy-environment/saudi-arabia-solar-renewables.html