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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday inaugurated the Sakaka solar power plant, which marks the Kingdom’s determination to become a leader in the renewable energy sector, state news agency SPA said.

He also signed a power purchase agreement for seven new solar power projects in various regions in the Kingdom, signalling Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to advance the clean energy sector and to provide sustainable and innovative solutions to the country’s energy needs.

The Crown Prince said the inauguration of the Sakaka solar power plant, the first clean energy project in the Kingdom, and the signing of the power purchase agreement for seven new solar power projects are in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 to develop the Kingdom’s economy and become a leader in green energy.

“A few weeks ago, the ‘Green Saudi’ initiative and the ‘Green Middle East’ initiative were announced. I explained that, as a world-leading oil producer, we are aware of our share of responsibility in combating climate change. In continuation of our leading role in the stability of the energy markets, we will carry on playing the same role to lead in renewable energy,” he said.

“This occasion underlines our determination to be leaders in all energy sectors and our endeavour to find the optimal sources of clean energy and promote efficiency in producing and consuming energy,” Mohammed bin Salman stressed.

Today, the Sakaka solar power plant has become operational. This is our first step to utilise renewable energy in the Kingdom. And soon, the construction of the Dumat Al Jandal wind power project will also be completed, “he added.

The output capacity of these projects, in addition to the projects of Sakaka and Dumat Al Jandal, will amount to more than 3,600 MW. They will generate power to more than 600,000 households and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than seven million tons.

“We aim to have the share of each gas and renewable energy in this mix at 50 per cent by 2030 and to substitute gas and renewable energy for around a million BOEs of liquid gas per day used as fuel in electricity production, water salination, and other sectors. This will allow us to have the energy mix that is optimal, most efficient, least costly, and most beneficial for the protection and preservation of the environment, the Crown Prince emphasised.

“The projects we celebrate today reflect the Kingdom’s efforts that seek to nationalize the renewable energy sector, promote the local content in it, and enable the manufacturing of the components of solar and wind energy production locally, allowing the Kingdom, within the next 10 years, to become a global hub for conventional energy, renewable energy and their technologies,” he added.