Renewables on the rise
Crude-dependent Saudi Arabia intends to diversify its economy away from oil and gas amidst the current downturn in prices. Energy minister Khalid Al-falih announced in January that the government is launching a bidding round for initial projects that will be part of a renewable energy programme worth as much as $50bn. The first slate of projects should generate 700MW. The country has few operational renewable projects and is also betting big on nuclear power, as contractors are now working on the design of two reactors that will produce 2.8GW in total.