Saudi Arabia expects to begin eight renewable energy projects this year that could total more than 4.1 gigawatts of capacity.
Solar will lead the pack with 3.3 GW, and wind projects could account for 800 megawatts, said Turki al-Shehri, head of the kingdom’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office.
Winning bidders will cover the financing — estimated to range between $5 billion and $7 billion — while the kingdom will guarantee to buy the power for 25 years.
The kingdom plans to have 3.45 GW of renewable power online by 2020, followed by 9.5 GW of solar and wind by 2023. Those energy sources currently account for 700 MW.
Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries are relying on renewables to feed their domestic demand rather than divert crude that could otherwise generate income on the export market, according to Bloomberg.