Saudi Arabia Begins Solar Energy Program

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has begun building the first solar-powered water desalination plant – the first step in a three-part program to introduce solar energy into the country. The program, launched by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), aims to help stabilize future power and water supplies inside Saudi Arabia through the creation of solar-powered desalination facilities.

Water desalination is critical to providing clean drinking water around the world. Today, Saudi Arabia produces 18% of the world's desalinated water. By building water desalination plants that run on solar energy, the country can reduce operational costs, and in turn, reduce consumer costs, according to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a prime location to harness solar energy because of its year-round sunshine. The sun in Saudi Arabia emits about 7,000 watts of energy per square meter over an average of 12 hours per day. KACST and IBM have developed a research center to determine how best to harness and repurpose this solar energy and are preparing to implement this technology.

SOURCE: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia

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