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Saudi powers up renewable energy capacity by 300%

The production capacity of Saudi renewable energy projects under construction will exceed 8,000 MW by the end of 2023 Middle East Solar Industry Association
The production capacity of Saudi renewable energy projects under construction will exceed 8,000 MW by the end of 2023

Saudi Arabia’s total installed renewable energy capacity has tripled since 2022, as the kingdom moves ahead to achieve net zero by 2060.

An additional 2,100 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy has been connected to the grid, taking the total capacity to 2,800 MW. This can power over 520,000 homes, according to a statement issued by the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, held in Dubai as part of Cop28 .

The production capacity of renewable energy projects under construction exceeds 8,000 MW by the end of 2023, with an additional 13,000 MW of renewable energy capacity in various stages of development across multiple projects.

The kingdom is transforming its domestic power mix by launching several projects to reduce reliance on liquid fuel and replacing it with gas to produce energy.

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As of December 2023, four high-efficiency gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 5,600 MW have started operation. The country is also building highly efficient plants equipped with carbon capture and storage technologies, with a total capacity of 8,400 MW.

Saudi Arabia is progressing with the development of a $8.4 billion green hydrogen plant in Neom as part of its ongoing investment in new fuel sources.

Several bilateral agreements have been signed with global companies this year to produce and export clean and green hydrogen.

Since the launch of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), 43.9 million trees and shrubs have been planted, and 94,000 hectares of degraded land have been rehabilitated.

Over 40 initiatives are already underway to achieve the interim target of planting more than 600 million trees and rehabilitating eight million hectares of land by 2030.

The roadmap to 10 billion trees will be implemented in two phases, starting next year.

Currently, 18.1 percent of land and 6.49 percent of marine environments in Saudi Arabia are under protection. Five initiatives are in place to increase the percentage of protected land to over 21 percent and protected marine areas to more than 26 percent by 2030.  

Princess Haifa bint Mohammed Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s tourism vice-minister, told the SGI Forum that the kingdom will invest $92 billion to make Riyadh one of the world’s most sustainable cities by 2030.

Riyadh was awarded hosting rights for the 2030 World Expo, an event Dubai staged to widespread acclaim in 2021-2022 following a one-year delay due to the pandemic.

SGI will continue running until the conclusion of Cop28 on December 12. 

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