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2018-03-28 10:30:00

SAUDIS SOLAR INVESTMENT $200 BLN

SAUDIS SOLAR INVESTMENT $200 BLN

REUTERS - SoftBank Group Corp's  Vision Fund will invest in creating the world's biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, it said on Tuesday, stepping up its involvement in the kingdom and expanding beyond technology.

The project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son told reporters in New York. That would add to around 400 GW of globally installed solar power capacity and is comparable to the world's total nuclear power capacity of around 390 GW as of the end of 2016.

By investing in solar power, Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, can reduce the amount of crude it currently uses to generate power and increase its overseas shipments. The move illustrates the commitment by the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan, to transform the country's economic status quo.

The final investment total for the 200 GW of generation, including the solar panels, battery storage and a manufacturing facility for panels in Saudi Arabia, will eventually total around $200 billion, Son said.

The initial phase of the project, for 7.2 GW of solar capacity, will cost $5 billion, with $1 billion coming from SoftBank's Vision Fund and the rest from project financing, he said.

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to reduce the country's economic dependence on oil, was a good match for the fund's long-term vision for innovation, said Son.

"These two visions have come together to create clean, sustainable, low-cost and productive renewable energy," he said. "The Kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land, and great engineers..."

Despite being one of the world's sunniest countries, Saudi Arabia generates most of its electricity from oil-fired power plants.

Saudi's entire installed power capacity is currently around 60 GW. Adding 200 GW would create enormous excess capacity that could be exported to neighbors or used by industry, although the kingdom will still require other forms of power generation for night-time back-up.

Industry estimates say around 300,000 to 800,000 barrels per day of crude oil are burnt for Saudi power generation.

Exporting that oil could increase Saudi's annual oil revenues by between $7 billion and $20 billion, at the current price for benchmark Brent LCOc1 oil of almost $70 per barrel.

POST-FOSSIL FUEL

"Saudi Arabia is clearly preparing for a post-fossil fuel dependent economy in terms of domestic energy consumption, and this huge bet on renewables would free up a lot of domestic output of oil for exports, while probably saving domestic gas resources as well," said Peter Kiernan, lead energy analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in Singapore.

"Up until now, progress in building solar capacity in the kingdom has been very slow, but this deal might give it the kick start it needs. But 200 GW by 2030 though, that's another question," Kiernan said.

Last May, Softbank said it raised over $93 billion for the Vision Fund, the world's largest private equity fund with backers including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, Apple Inc  and Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry.

The Vision Fund has funneled $27.5 billion into 20 tech firms as of the end of December, transforming SoftBank from a Japanese telecoms upstart into one of the world's biggest technology investors.

The Saudi investment is Softbank's second major global solar project.

The company has said it will invest up to $20 billion along with Foxconn and Bharti Enterprises in solar projects in India, which has an ambitious target to generate 100 GW of power from solar by 2022. SoftBank estimated the electrification drive could create a requirement for over 150 GW of additional power.

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Earlier:

 Renewable
2018, January, 22, 08:30:00

SAUDIS CLEAN INVESTMENT

BLOOMBERG - Mexico, Chile and Peru offer strong potential for growth in renewable energy, and governments in the region are courting international investors to help diversify the electricity mix.

 

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2017, July, 19, 14:35:00

CLEAN ENERGY PROBLEMS

A transition from fossil fuels to mitigate the impacts of climate change will require large amounts of metals and rare earth elements that could create environmental challenges, the World Bank has warned.

 

 Renewable
2017, April, 19, 17:40:00

SAUDI'S RENEWABLE ENERGY

Saudi Arabia aims to produce 10 percent of its power from renewable sources in the next six years as it pushes ahead with a multi-billion-dollar plan to diversify its energy mix and free up more crude oil for export.

 

 Renewable
2017, March, 6, 18:55:00

SAUDI'S RENEWABLE ENERGY

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., as it is formally called, is considering investments of as much as $5 billion in renewable energy, part of the kingdom’s effort to reduce the amount of oil feeding domestic energy needs.

 

 Renewable
2017, January, 30, 18:55:00

SAUDI'S RENEWABLE INVESTMENT: $50 BLN

OPEC’s biggest crude producer is embarking on a domestic renewable-energy program costing $30 billion to $50 billion. The country’s only solar plant in operation, aside from a limited pilot project, is a 10-megawatt facility on top of a parking lot at Saudi Aramco’s headquarters. The national utility, Saudi Electricity Co., is seeking bids for two solar plants to generate a combined 100 megawatts.

 

 Renewable
2016, April, 26, 19:00:00

SAUDI'S RENEWABLE: 9.5 GW

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia plans to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, it said in Vision 2030 reform plan.

 

 Renewable
2014, September, 1, 17:40:00

RENEWABLE ENERGY: GROWING RISKS

Policy uncertainty threatens to slow renewable energy momentum. IEA forecast sees renewable power as a cost-competitive option in an increasing number of cases, but facing growing risks to deployment over the medium term.

 

 

Tags: SAUDI, RENEWABLE, SOLAR, ENERGY, INVESTMENT

Chronicle:

SAUDIS SOLAR INVESTMENT $200 BLN
2018, July, 16, 10:35:00

CHINA'S INVESTMENT FOR NIGERIA: $14+3 BLN

AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.

SAUDIS SOLAR INVESTMENT $200 BLN
2018, July, 16, 10:30:00

LIBYA'S OIL DOWN 160 TBD

REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.

SAUDIS SOLAR INVESTMENT $200 BLN
2018, July, 16, 10:25:00

BAHRAIN'S GDP UP 3.2%

IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.

SAUDIS SOLAR INVESTMENT $200 BLN
2018, July, 16, 10:20:00

NIGERIA'S GDP UP 2%

IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.

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