Three wind energy and two solar projects have been announced. Image Credit: Pexels

Saudi Arabia has launched five new projects to produce electricity using renewable energy, with a total capacity of 3,300 megawatts, the state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

The projects, which include producing power through solar and wind, were launched by the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC), which is the principal buyer.

No financial details were disclosed.

Total production from the three wind energy projects stands at 1,800mw, with the project in Yanbu having a capacity of 700mw, while the one in Al Ghat at 600mw. A third project in Waad Al-Shamal will have 500mw capacity.

The total capacity of solar projects will be 1,500mw – the project in Al Henakiyah will have a 1,100mw capacity, while one in Tubarjal will produce 400mw.

Global employment jump

Worldwide employment in renewable energy reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in one year, despite the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the growing energy crisis, according to the ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2022’ report.

The report identifies domestic market size as a major factor influencing employment generation in renewables, along with labour and other costs. Solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector. In 2021 it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global workforce in renewable energy.

With rising concerns about climate change, COVID-19 recovery and supply chain disruption, national interest is growing in localising supply chains and creating jobs at home.

The report highlighted how Southeast Asian countries became major solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing hubs and biofuel producers. China is a popular manufacturer and installer of solar PV panels and is creating a growing number of jobs in offshore wind. India added more than 10gw of solar PV, generating many installation jobs, but remains heavily dependent on imported panels.

Europe now accounts for about 40 per cent of the world’s wind manufacturing output and is the most important exporter of wind power equipment. It is also trying to reconstitute its solar PV manufacturing industry.