The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company Seeks More Solar Power

Saudi Arabian Oil Company Seeks More Solar Power

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company is planning to add more solar power, a move to limit domestic fossil-fuel consumption in the world’s biggest exporter of crude.

“We are looking at solar investments with great interest,” Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. told a conference in Bahrain.

The comment suggests that authority over renewable energy in the kingdom may be moving toward Aramco, which has for decades managed built up Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and has the expertise to manage giant contracts with Western companies.

To date, the Saudi renewable strategy has been managed by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, an organization chartered by the government working outside the energy ministry. KaCare officials in May 2012 said the nation was seeking $109 billion to create a solar industry by 2032, though there’s been little evidence of progress since then.

“The government solar plan is moving very slow, and we are hearing about it for some time, but it’s not maturing as fast as it should,” Gasem al-Shaikh, head of energy unit at Saudi Binladin Group, said in an interview in Manama. “The country can’t wait. We are burning more liquids every year, and that’s why Saudi Aramco now is taking the lead.”

Al-Shaikh’s company is interested in bidding on the new solar projects announced by KaCare. Aramco’s work would be separate from those contracts.

Slow Progress

Al-Falih of Aramco said Saudi Arabia needs to be patient in adding solar capacity and do it “slowly and carefully” to avoid mistakes like those made in European nations, which had to ratchet back subsides after creating an uncontrolled boom in solar panel installations.

“We don’t want to go fast like Germany and Spain and then have regrets down the road,” he said.

Aramco issued a warning in its annual review on May 15 saying that local demand for crude has increased “to the point where volumes meant for exports may fall to unacceptably low levels in the coming two decades.”

Aramco signed initial agreement to develop plants generating 300 megawatt of solar power in remote areas in Saudi Arabia to reduce the burning of diesel for power generation in these areas, al-Falih said.

Saudi Aramco helped in setting up a small solar power- generation plant in Farasan Island, which faces the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

“We had to do it as we had a biased interest in that project,” al-Falih said. “We were shipping diesel to the Island’s power plant and that added heavily to the cost.”

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Oil well via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

Gavel

Three Chinese Solar Panel Groups Lose Exemption From EU Tariffs

Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg

The European Union applied tariffs on three groups of Chinese solar-panel makers that have been exempted from the levies, potentially reviving tensions in the EU’s biggest trade case of its kind.

Stock graph

Green Bonds Sprout as Wall Street Embraces Renewable Energy Debt

Cordell Eddings, Bloomberg Bonds backing clean energy and other sustainable initiatives are booming. Investors are snapping up green bonds at the fastest pace on record, as big banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. pile in with new iss...
Loss and profit binders

Yingli May Return to Profitability in Second Half, CFO Says

Justin Doom, Bloomberg

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., a Chinese solar manufacturer that hasn’t reported income in almost four years, may return to profitability in the second half, the chief financial officer said.

Students and solar powered cars with energy storage

Rain or Shine, Students Keep Their Solar Race Cars Going with Energy Storage

Wayne Hicks, NREL Teegan and Kira Cordova love the original Star Trek TV series. That much is obvious. The eighth-grade twins from Ken Caryl Middle School in Littleton are wearing the uniform tunics from the 1960s show — Teegan's in red and...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

COMPANY BLOGS

Up to Bat – Why More Solar Companies Are Thinking Seriously About A...

Given the growth of the solar industry in the U.S., with 2014 year-...

How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Setting Limits and Framing Comparisons

Most buyers like to have choices, and they get personal satisfaction kno...

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS