Saudi Arabia Delays $109b Solar Power Plan

Saudi Arabia Delays  $109b Solar Power PlanSaudi Arabia Delays  $109b Solar Power Plan

Saudi Arabia is delaying by eight years its target to complete a $109 billion clean-energy program, saying it needs more time to assess what technologies it will use, Bloomberg reported.

The project was originally intended to produce a third of the nation’s electricity from solar panels by 2032 and more power from wind, geothermal and nuclear reactors. The ambition was to save more crude oil for export.

“We have revised the outlook to focus on 2040 as the major milestone for long-term energy planning in Saudi Arabia,” said Hashim Yamani, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, the royal agency established to oversee renewable energy policy.

King Abdullah’s government set out its ambitions for diversifying its energy supplies in May 2012, the year after an influential Chatham House paper suggested that business-as-usual policies would leave the kingdom a net oil importer by 2038.

At the time, Saudi Arabia also said it was working on options to develop its nuclear industry, envisioning 16 reactors by 2030 with a combined capacity of 14 gigawatts.