Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia plans to invest $109 billion in solar. That is one order of magnitude less than necessary to make an impact on global warming, but it’s a nice start. Thanks to this tweet by Fresh Currents for the link.
Saudi Arabia has excellent desert resources. And they have money from their oil business. Investing that money in the next generation energy business of solar makes sense.
Any oil they don’t need to burn for their own electricity needs they can sell at very high prices on the world market. Solar is already much cheaper than the oil it displaces at those conditions, especially with the great insolation in the country.
And what impressed me the most is that the program will aim for 41 GW in two decades, with only 16 of that for PV, leaving most of the capacity for concentrated solar power. That is more expensive per kWh right now, but makes sense if one wants to generate electricity around the clock.
I am not sure why they should need twenty years to get to only 41 GW. With prices for PV down massively thanks to the German rate payers, they should only need a couple of years to get 41 GW only from PV.