Riyadh to host renewable energy summit in October with focus on tech, solutions

BE2C2 Report — Starting October 18, Riyadh will host the two-day Kingdom Renewable Energy Summit 2017, with a focus on latest renewable energy technologies and solutions.

The energy sector has increased emphasis on renewables and new technologies under Vision 2030, to diversify energy sources by reducing dependence on oil and speeding up implementation of clean energy programs based on public-private partnership.

Saudi Arabia’s renewable programs involve investments of between $30 billion and $50 billion by 2023, as the Kingdom is targeting 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy to balance the country’s energy mix and environmental goals, said the summit’s website.

New initiatives for renewable energy will also help reduce the Kingdom’s greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the global climate action outlined in the Paris climate agreement.

The Kingdom also has considerable solar power potential that will help reduce its use of fossil fuels. With its vast landscape featuring empty stretches of desert that can host solar panels, and vast deposits of clear sand that can be used in the manufacture of silicon photovoltaic cells, the Kingdom is highly suited to the development of solar energy.

The Kingdom’s northeast and northwest also provide enabling environment for wind power, according to experts.

A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated that achieving Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) renewable energy targets could create an average of 140,000 direct jobs per year.

Saudi Arabia also plans to cover 20 per cent of its electricity needs using nuclear energy. It has announced plans to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030, and aims to have the first two reactors up and running shortly, and then to establish two nuclear reactors in each following year. The estimated cost of each reactor would be US$7.

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