Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Saudi Arabia inaugurated a solar power plant project, Thursday, as part of its efforts to increase reliance on renewable energy sources and reduce its fuel consumption.
Under the patronage of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Energy Mix Affairs to produce electricity and enable the renewable energy sector, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman inaugurated the Sakaka solar power plant project in the Al-Jawf region (north of the Kingdom).
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that the project, which is the start of renewable energy projects in the Kingdom, has a production capacity of 300 megawatts.
During the opening ceremony, power purchase agreements were signed for seven other renewable energy projects in various regions of the Kingdom, with 5 investment alliances consisting of 12 Saudi and international companies. The total capacity of these projects, in addition to the Sakaka and Dumat Al-Jandal projects, is 3670 megawatts.
The Saudi Minister of Energy said that the Kingdom seeks to reduce the consumption of liquid fuel in the production of electricity, and to reach the optimal energy mix, which aims to make the share of gas and renewable energy sources in this mix about 50% each by 2030, by displacing approximately one million barrels of oil. Daily liquid fuel equivalent, used as fuel in electricity production, water desalination, and other sectors.
It will also provide electric power to more than 600,000 housing units and reduce more than 7 million tons of greenhouse emissions, according to Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
The Saudi Minister of Energy considered that these projects help the Kingdom in its approach to achieving the goals related to climate change, and to ensure the creation of more sustainable and less expensive energy systems.