SKEPTICISM ABOUT SAUDI PROPOSED 200 GIGAWATT SOLAR PROJECT

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29 march 2018


Why Saudi Arabia is trying to launch an utterly massive new solar project


by Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post, March 28 at 4:09 PM

Softbank and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement to launch a massive solar power project, one that if completed would signal a dramatic ramping up of the renewable energy industry in one of the world’s most suitable spots for solar power.

But several analysts cautioned the agreement between the massive Japanese firm and the desert nation might not be fully realized, both because of its ambitious scale and because it is at present a nonbinding memorandum of understanding.

Masayoshi Son, Softbank’s CEO, announced the agreement with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to create a 200-gigawatt solar initiative in the sun-drenched oil producer by 2030.

Two-hundred gigawatts is four times the solar capacity in the United States and four times China’s annual pace of solar power expansion. As of the end of 2016, the world as a whole had installed only 303 gigawatts of total solar photovoltaic capacity.

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