Saudi Arabia, China forge RE pact

Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to boost cooperation on renewables and nuclear energy,  as part of the Kingdom’s continuing efforts to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

The MoU was signed in Beijing by Waleed Hussein Abu Al-Faraj,  vice president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA CARE), and Hwan Min Gang, chief financial officer of the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

It is expected that the two countries will soon launch a number of large joint projects in both the renewables and nuclear sectors.

Analysts say a balanced mix of renewables and conventional energy is strategically important for Saudi’s long-term prosperity.  It is envisaged renewables and nuclear will account for a significant portion of the country’s future energy mix.

Saudi Arabia has already announced plans to invest more than $109bn into solar projects with the aim of producing 41GW – or almost 30% of its energy requirements – from solar by 2032.

Saudi is expected to be the largest market in the Middle East and Africa by 2017, overtaking South Africa and Israel, according to some analysts.

KA CARE was established in 2010, as the Kingdom’s renewable energy research hub, mandated with seeking alternatives to hydrocarbons.