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'Highly unlikely' Saudi will meet solar energy aim

by Neha Bhatia on Feb 11, 2016

KA CARE announced plans to invest $109bn for solar energy production by 2032.
KA CARE announced plans to invest $109bn for solar energy production by 2032.

A recently-released report by Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) said it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia will, in the current global economy, meet its scheduled renewable energy targets. 

The report hails the UAE's, Jordan's, and Morocco's efforts to migrate from traditional energy sources to renewable options, stating the presence of strong legal frameworks supports this transition. 

According to the report, large oil or gas reserves and cheap extraction costs mean that hydrocarbons continue to meet rising demand in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.

The report added: "Policy uncertainty and the lack of an efficient regulatory framework are mainly responsible for slow progress [in those countries]. 

"In 2012, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA CARE) announced plans to invest $109bn (SAR408.7bn) to produce 41GW of solar by 2032 in the Kingdom.

"But little progress has been made so far.

"Given the large amount of investment required to reach this ambitious target, it is highly unlikely that the government will meet its renewable targets for now," the report added. 

The report acknowledged Kuwait's declaration to employ 15% renewable energy by the year 2020, adding the country is yet to proceed with its 50MW Al Shagaya CSP Plant project. 

Qatar's, Oman's, and Bahrain's investments were also recognised by the report.

However, the study lamented that "no significant additions" can be expected anytime soon from the three countries.