By Nawaf Afit
RIYADH – The Kingdom intends to use solar energy to generate 10 percent of its electricity needs by the year 2020, a total of five megawatts of power.
It also hopes its solar industry will help it become the biggest exporter of electricity in the world.
The government expects the recently established solar energy sector in the Kingdom to provide 15,000 new jobs, encourage the development of solar farms and the establishment of factories for the treatment and collection of raw materials from the related utilities.
Over SR3 billion has been invested in solar energy generating plants in Yanbu Port in Madina region and Jubail in the Eastern Province.
In addition, a SR380 million factory will be built on the Arabian coast to produce poly silicon. Its preliminary production capacity by 2014 is expected to reach 3,350 tons of poly silicon, to be used in the production of solar energy.
The Saudi Energy Exhibition 2012 and the 15th International Exhibition for Electricity and Lighting, power generation, water technology, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, scheduled for May 7 to 10 at the Riyadh International Conferences and Exhibitions Center, will outline future solar and other energy initiatives.
The Saudi Energy Exhibition is considered one of the biggest and most prominent exhibitions in the power sector in the region.