RIYADH Feb 23 Saudi Arabia has published a
roadmap for its renewable energy programme, aimed at reducing
the amount of oil it burns in power stations, and targets
issuing final bids for the first plants within three months.
The world's top oil exporter aims to install 23.9 gigawatts
(GW) of renewable power capacity by 2020 and 54.1 GW by 2032, it
said in the roadmap, which would make Saudi Arabia one of the
world's main producers of renewable electricity.
In 2011 global installed capacity for photovoltaic (PV)
solar power, the most common solar technology, was 69.4 GW, the
BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012 said.
The kingdom says it has crude output capacity of 12.5
million barrels a day, but domestic oil consumption is rising
quickly and may start to cut into the amount of energy available
The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy
(KACARE), the government department responsible for the
programme, last year published its vision for a long-term energy
mix that relied on big contributions from solar and nuclear
KACARE said in its roadmap, a white paper published on
Wednesday, that it aims to issue a request for prequalification
for the first rewewable plants within two months, a final tender
within three months and to award contracts within a year.
It said the initial contracts would be part of an
"introductory" procurement round of 500-800 megawatts, but that
it would launch two more tenders within three years for 7 GW of
installed capacity. It said 5.1 GW would be installed in the
first five years.
Saudi Arabia wants most of the new renewable energy capacity
to come from two solar power technologies, but is also seeking
to generate electricity from wind, geothermal and
KACARE specified that in the first two bidding rounds after
the introductory procurement round, it wanted 2.4 GW of PV solar
energy capacity and 2.1 GW of solar thermal capacity.
Renewable power developers will have 20-year contracts to
sell electricity to a new government body that will in turn sell
it on to the national grid.
New projects will have minimum requirements for local
content and the employment of Saudi nationals, KACARE said, and
developers must contribute to a Saudi research and development
programme for renewable energy.
The initial tendering process for the first projects this
year aims to determine the cost of installing major renewable
plants in Saudi Arabia to set a pricing structure for future
bidding rounds, it said.
(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Nick Macfie)