From Oil to Solar: Saudi Arabia Plots a Shift to Renewables

From Oil to Solar: Saudi Arabia Plots a Shift to Renewables

Life in Saudi Arabia has long been defined by the oil that flows from the kingdom. Over decades, the vast wealth it pumped out paid not just for gleaming towers and shopping malls but also for a government sector that employs a majority of working Saudis.

Now, Saudi Arabia is trying to tie its future to another natural resource it has in abundance: sunlight.

The world’s largest oil exporter is embarking, under Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on an ambitious effort to diversify its economy and reinvigorate growth, in part by plowing money into renewable energy. The Saudi government wants not just to reshape its energy mix at home but also to emerge as a global force in clean power.

Reaching that goal is a big if. But the strategy is finally making progress after fits and starts.

Riyadh on Monday tapped ACWA Power, a Saudi energy company, to build a solar farm that would generate enough electricity to power up to 200,000 homes. The project will cost $300 million and create hundreds of jobs, according to Turki al-Shehri, head of the kingdom’s renewable energy program.

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From Oil to Solar: Saudi Arabia Plots a Shift to Renewables - The New York Times
Riyadh plans to build a $300 million solar farm that would generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, an example Saudi leaders hope will have positive consequences.

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