The Saudi sovereign wealth fund and SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan jointly announced plans to build a solar project that is staggering in size – 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. That would be about 100 times larger than some of the largest projects in the world right now. “It’s by far the biggest solar project ever,” Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank said at a news conference Tuesday in New York after signing a nonbinding agreement with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). The project would begin with a $5 billion investment, initiated this year, which would translate into about 7.2 GW, slated to come online in 2019. The logic of massive and aggressive development of solar in Saudi Arabia is obvious. Sunshine is not a scarce resource. The country burns oil for about a third of its electricity, a costly way of generating power both environmentally and in terms of lost oil exports. SoftBank’s Son said the 200 GW of solar would cut electricity costs by $40 billion while creating some 100,000 jobs.
Energy Voice 30th March 2018 read more »