From the Field

Saudis predict solar energy exports by 2050

PARIS, May 22, 2015 – The world’s second-largest oil producer could be a renewable energy  exporter by 2050, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Ibrahim Al Naimi told a climate conference in Paris on Thursday.

Al Naimi was adamant that the kingdom would maintain crude output  into the near future, however. There are currently no plans to halt exports of nearly 8 million barrels per day.


“In Saudi Arabia, we recognise that eventually, one of these days, we’re not going to need fossil fuels. I don’t know when – 2040, 2050 or thereafter. So we have embarked on a programme to develop solar energy,” Al Naimi said.

Saudi Arabia’s capacity for solar power is less than 50 MW, which is one-thousandth that of the world’s largest producer of solar power Germany. The Germans enjoy an average of 1,500 hours of sunshine per year compared with up to 4,000 hours in Saudi Arabia.


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