Saudi Arabia will soon unveil a new solar project that will produce energy at the lowest cost yet, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz said Thursday.
Prince Abdulaziz was speaking during a virtual conference convened by Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I). The conference set out to discuss how to put sustainability and green strategies at the heart of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing the greatest recession the world has seen in nearly a century.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is, we will be very soon announcing a project on solar that will take the lead in terms of probably the lowest, if not the lowest, cost per kilowatt of electricity. We will be announcing it very soon,” he said.
Mitigating the virus fallout
Prince Abdulaziz noted that the damage caused by the virus was more human than economic, with the human loss of education, healthcare and education causing significant harm to lives. However, plans are underway to maintain sustainability despite the coronavirus, he said.
“While mitigating the impact of the virus itself we are still adhering to our sustainability objectives and growth … albeit with this massive challenge we all have to attend to,” the minister explained.
“It is challenging to move away from our agenda as we had it before … We are in the process of mitigating and we are living with that mitigation,” he added.
Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest producers of hydrocarbons in the world, with oil giant Saudi Aramco pumping more oil than other any producer. As such, decisions taken in the Kingdom are of particular importance for the green agenda, the Prince said.
“I believe our energy agenda with Saudi Arabia is of paramount importance,” he added.
The Kingdom has already made several steps towards its green agenda, such as an investment by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), in ACWA Power for renewable energy development.
The conference, brought together under the theme “Don’t Forget Our Planet!,” covers topics including what lessons have been learned to protect nature, sustainable energy solutions for the private and public sectors, and how to view ecology through the lens of profitability.
Other participants in the conference include Yassir al-Rumayyan, Governor of the PIF and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of India’s Reliance Industries, Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and Chief Executive of energy firm Total SA in France.
The conference is being held Thursday between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Riyadh time. Al Arabiya English is streaming the conference on YouTube and Twitter.
In October 2019, more than 6,000 executives and participants attended the third Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.