Reuters, Jeddah Thursday, 24 August 2017

Saudi Arabia aims to exceed its target to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy annually, to highlight its long-term commitment to green energy, a senior government official said.

“We plan to exceed 9.5 gigawatts,” Turki al-Shehri, head of the energy ministry’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) told the Sino-Saudi investment forum in Jeddah on Thursday.

“The whole idea of this is to give investors a sense of comfort that the Kingdom has a long-term vision for renewable energy,” he later told Reuters.

The government has said it plans to generate 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from renewable sources a year by 2023 through 60 projects, involving an estimated investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion.

Shehri declined to give further details on when the government expects to exceed the target or other details, saying such an announcement would be made by the energy minister.

Expressions of interest in Saudi’s first utility-scale solar project had come from China more than any other country, he said.