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Saudi Arabia's power investment to reach $80bn

The Kingdom needs to add about 5,000MW of power capacity annually

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Saudi Arabia's power production capacity reached only 54MW last year
Saudi Arabia's power production capacity reached only 54MW last year

Saudi Arabia plans to invest more than US $80bn in electric power sector by the end of 2020, with the aim of increasing production capacity, development of transport networks and stations, and all associated systems, Sawary Energy Vice President Sami Akeel said.

Noting the great challenges faced by the sector in the Kingdom, with a production capacity reaching about only 54MW last year, he said the Kingdom needs to add about 5,000MW annually, and that 1000MW need around US$4bn investments.

He stressed that electric diesel generators play a significant role in promoting economic development, and advancing the overall sustainable development taking place in the Kingdom over the past decades.

He valued the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to support the increased electrical generation capacities to meet the increasing demand.

Meanwhile, Booz & Company estimates that the MENA region holds 45 percent of the world's total energy potential from all renewable sources. Algeria, reckons the consulting firm, has the greatest potential for solar power, followed by Libya, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Already, some countries in the MENA region have announced ambitious renewable energy generation targets.

Algeria has announced plans for 22,000MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, for example, and Morocco is targeting 2,000MW of new solar generation capacity by 2020, as well as hosting the first reference project of the Desertec concept.

Moreover, Egypt has ambitions to generate 20 percent of its total energy from renewable sources
by 2020, and Abu Dhabi is targeting a 7 per cent renewable energy share in electricity generation capacity in the same timeframe.

In all, the IEA expects the Middle East region to generate 7 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, up from around 3 per cent today.

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