Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia Emboldens Renewable Energy Investments, Localization is Condition to Advanced Industries | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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(File) Solar panel | Reuters

Riyadh – Projects aimed at producing a sufficient power supply for local demand and international exports are underway in Saudi Arabia, said Saleh Al-Awaji, the Saudi undersecretary for electricity affairs at the Ministry of Water and Electricity.

The ministry had promised the private sector investment openings in the renewable energy sector.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Awaji clarified that the abovementioned efforts are part and parcel of an initiative endorsed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz for increasing power production reliant on renewable energy sources.

Power output by the renewable energy sector is meant to bridge the gap between oil-dependent energy and the shortage in electricity supplies worldwide. Renewable energy production, when ready, will move to the international and regional markets on exported power supplies.

“Through this initiative, we seek to strengthen the role played by the private sector, its participation in renewable energy projects and the localization of advanced industries,” Awaji said.

The energy official added that “doors are open for the private sector to invest in green energy– the construction of power plants and tapping into renewable sources such as solar energy, wind and waste.

Next to numbered goals, Awaji said that power production will be stepped up by the initiative.

One of the program’s basic terms and conditions is increasing power production, next to localizing the power supply chain.

Awaji stressed the need of entrepreneurs planning to invest in renewable energy is to work on the localization of related advanced industries, and to provide associated expertise.

“We recognize that in the first stages, it is difficult to achieve large percentages of localization, but with incremental progress through time this can be achieved by developers, reaching a 100 percent which is projected by the National Transformation Program, Saudi Vision 2030,” Awaji added.

Expanding energy programs in Saudi Arabia, making it at best inclusive, will not only promote vigorous diversity within the sector, but also help put the oil-rich country’s economic wheel at a refreshing advantage.

Saudi Arabia has announced its national program on the premise of stepping out from oil-dependency by expanding each of its economic private and public sectors.

Many investments and initial public offerings have taken the media by storm since, with the latest being the largest issuance of Islamic sovereign bonds ever noted. The bonds were offered under what is known the Sukuk program.

“The initiative (revitalizing renewable energy) does not only benefit the electricity sector but profits developing small and medium enterprises,” Awaji said.

“Most of the works needed by renewable energy programs are services and products that can be delivered by these companies in cooperation with relevant authorities,” Awaji explained.