Kingdom set to become world's largest producer of solar energy


JEDDAH — A number of economists specializing in solar energy confirmed that the Kingdom benefits from a number of advantages which it employs in diversifying sources of income according to the Kingdom’s “2030 Vision”. They pointed that the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in the solar energy project between Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and minister of defense and Softbank to create the world’s largest solar energy project with a production capacity of 200 GW is considered another important shift to diversify sources of income as some areas in the Kingdom receive 2500 GW of solar radiation per one square meter.

Executive Director of Desert Technologies Eng. Nour Moussa commented on this agreement, saying: “This $120 billion agreement signed with Softbank to localize the Solar energy industry, production and export to the world will make the orientation to clean energy and its export one of the Kingdom’s priorities, in order to stop dependence on oil and keep pace with the international trend in this direction and enable Saudi Arabia to maintain its first place globally in the field of energy production.”

He also added that Desert Technologies is considered as one of the most important operating Saudi companies in the field of producing solar panels, where it focuses on the complete localization of solar energy industries and the development of stations and their contracting. At the same time, it is considered as one of the first companies to start producing solar panels with Saudi components and a (Tier 1) global classification at its Jeddah plant, the Panels are assembled using self-propelled robotic equipment and artificial intelligence developed in Germany, which is a quantum leap in the solar industry in the Middle East.

Eng. Nour Moussa explained that a year and a half after the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources’ announcement on the national shift to renewable energy, the Ministry has announced several projects until the year 2023 involving the largest local and international companies. To boost the domestic output, the ministry also announced lifting the terms of use of the GDP in the construction of stations to 60%, which will lead to an industrial renaissance in the field of investment in solar power plants and services.

Khalid Sharbatli, a partner at Desert Technologies, said: "The partnership with Softbank is accelerating to achieve the Kingdom’s “2030 Vision” to diversify sources of income by investing in solar energy away from oil addiction”, assuring that this partnership, which we are relying on a lot, will support the local content in addition to support national competencies.

He also pointed out that signing the Understanding Memorandum with Softbank to establish the world's largest solar project with a production capacity of 200 GW is the fruit of the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. This was launched last year and was centered on the Saudi citizen through saving and localizing the functions of the renewable energy industry and supporting the national research centers by applying these principles to the agreement of the solar plan with Softbank, which was signed by the Crown Prince and is to benefit from the production of electric power and make the Kingdom one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of solar panels in the world. As well as contributing in making the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia one of the top manufacturers of solar panels through the abundant stock of pure silica sand, which is the key element in manufacturing solar panels with the highest purity internationally.

The Kingdom is then set to become the world's largest producer of solar energy, which comes with steady steps towards reducing dependence on oil revenues within the Kingdom’s “2030 Vision”, and will also contribute to the enhancement of local content, creating thousands of jobs opportunities for Saudis. The Kingdom will be given many competitive advantages as well with the major manufacturers of solar panels and the development of associated manufacturing industries. — SG