For 2 decades, the oil market hung to every word Ali al-Naimi said. The veteran Saudi oil minister between 1995-2016 is considered a true oil leader, having started his career with Saudi Aramco before leading Saudi Arabia’s oil policies as minister.

At a ceremony to launch his book “Out of the Desert: My Journey From Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil,” al-Naimi seemed to be now looking up to the sun after years of musing about what is pumped from under the ground. Asked about developments in the oil market, he said: “Now I am much more interested in solar energy, making solar panels… if you can help me there, good.”

Saudi Arabia is embarking on a $50 billion renewable resources push. Starting this year, OPEC’s biggest crude producer plans to develop almost 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023.