A leading figurehead in Saudi Arabia’s energy sector has called solar energy “a must” for the kingdom, stating that Saudi Arabia has little choice but to pursue the potential of solar power if it hopes to maintain the country’s standard of living.
Speaking at the opening day of the fourth Solar Arabia summit in Riyadh, Hamed al-Saggaf, executive director of the Saudi Electricity Company, told attendees that the kingdom must learn to wean itself off its dependence on oil and gas for electricity production.
“If we continue to consume fuel at the same rate, then there will be a great lost opportunity,” Saggaf said. “We have to start pursuing solar now.”
With a peak electricity load of 57 GW and a growing, power-hungry middle class, Saudi Arabia has begun to give greater consideration to its energy future. The subject has rarely been discussed in recent decades as the oil-rich Kingdom cornered the global OPEC market.