World’s largest solar power development is being built as a collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the SoftBank Group Corp. An MOU has been signed by the two partners to build a $200 billion solar power farm in Saudi Arabia. The country is trying hard to fight the huge reliance on the oil industry and to build a clean energy future for the country. The announcement of the project was made in New York on Thursday.
The current plan entails generation of 200 gigawatts of power. This makes it 100 times bigger than another planned solar power plant. This huge amount of energy is about one third more than what the global photovoltaic industry supplied worldwide last year. “It’s a huge step in human history,” Prince Mohammed said. “It’s bold, risky and we hope we succeed doing that.”
SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son says that the project might create 100,000 jobs. The development will hit maximum capacity by 2030. “The kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land and great engineers, great labor, but most importantly, the best and greatest vision,” Son told media. Prince Mohammed has been at the forefront of Saudi’s Vision 2030 campaign which aims to diversify the country’s economy and lessen the dependence on the oil industry.
SoftBank Group Corp. has made it clear that they are not shy about investing heavily in Saudi Arabia and they are expected to spend around $25 billion over the next 3 to 4 years. This money will also be going towards the development of the new city Neom, being built by the crown prince on the Red Sea coast.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the electricity demand in Saudi Arabia has increased 9% since 2000. The country is now making conscious efforts to meet the new energy demands and this solar project, once completed, will triple Saudi Arabia’s electricity generation capacity.
The world’s largest solar power development is another step that shows how far renewable energy technology has come and how the whole world is rapidly shifting towards it.