Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Saudi wind farm provides additional thrust to kingdom’s sky-high clean energy ambitions

The impact of climate change and an urgent need to address pollution has pushed even oil-rich kingdoms in the gulf to announce emission cuts. Leading economies like Saudi, UAE and regional neighbours have placed development of renewable energy sources among top priorities as part of their vision for the future.

After Dubai unveiled the world’s largest solar park, Saudi Arabia has accelerated its efforts by paving the way for the one of the biggest facilities to produce green hydrogen. The kingdom which recently inked pacts for seven new projects to capture the sun’s energy, is also close to harnessing the desert wind for power.

Saudi Arabia is now home to a wind farm being built by Danish firm Vestas, and seeks to illuminate about 70,000 households once the project is fully functional. The country is celebrating 50% construction of the facility, which will be up and running by the end of next year.

The kingdom which is already exporting clean fuels like blue ammonia to assist global economies in reducing emissions, will be able to cut down its own output of carbon by almost a million tons, thanks to the wind farm alone. The Dumat Al Jandal wind farm is situation 900 kilometres away from the capital Riyadh, and will also generate employment for Saudi residents.

Moving higher in its pursuit of renewable resources, Saudi Arabia has also approved plans to increase its solar power capacity, to generate enough electricity for 600,000 households. On the other hand, its ambitious green hydrogen project is part of a plan to boost energy exports in an era when the world is slipping away from oil.

To complement these efforts, Saudi Arabia’s electricity company has laid the groundwork for efficient use of electricity with smart metres, which will allow residents to monitor and control power consumption.

The regime which has already invested heavily in EV makers like Lucid, is also eyeing an electric car brand of its own, in order to charge up sustainable mobility.

Image: Shutterstock

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