Saudi Arabia’s “Vision Electro” Looks Up to Solar, Not Down to Oil

saudi-arabia-solar-energyThe Mecca of solar energy? Saudi Arabia company sets up $150 million solar energy company.

For the last fifty years Saudi Arabia has been drilling in the ground for its energy needs, but that might all change as the kingdom is setting up its first solar power plant manufacturer, according to AME Info. With an initial investment of $150 million the Vision Electro Mechanical Co. (Vision) has been established with the goal to develop, manufacture and operate solar power plants to generate electricity. The first power plant will be built in the Mecca province in eastern Saudi Arabia together with a ‘leading international company;’ they do not specify what type of plant it would be.

In a recent statement, Vision said that “the solar power field is designed to work under the highest temperatures to commensurate with the atmosphere of the Gulf region, and will keep track of the movement of the sun throughout the day to achieve the maximum potential use of solar energy.”

Most of Saudi Arabia is covered by the Arabian Desert: more than one million square miles without a single river in sight  provides plenty of space for solar power plants.

In a move that might seem strange considering Saudi’s oil wealth, the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, recently announced a plan to increase the use of energy from renewable sources. With oil prices today at around $80 per barrel it simply does not make economic sense for Saudi Arabia, or other oil producing countries in the Gulf region, to burn oil for electricity as the value of that electricity is lower than the price at which the oil can be sold on the international market.

The quest for cheap energy has not only led to a push for renewable energy but also for nuclear energy.

One such example was the establishment of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy in April this year, which is labeled as a renewable energy ‘city’ designed to meet the country’s growing energy needs and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

The King Abdullah City aims to pioneer efforts to ensure the maximum utilization of alternative energy sources, most notably the solar energy which is available in the country throughout the year, according to Vision.

::AME info

Photo via bakar_88

More on solar power:

BrightSource Energy One Step Closer to World’s Largest Solar Plant

Solar Power To The People Of Abu Dhabi

Germany’s Solar Millennium AG Pulls out of Israel Bid

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