The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has engaged the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help measure the region's solar resource.
According to NREL, Saudi Arabia has big plans to install more than 50 GW of renewable energy in the next 20 years, with solar power meeting at least 30% of its electricity needs by 2032.
Last month, Saudi engineers visited NREL to study and discuss various solar-related topics, including atmospheric effects on solar radiation. In addition, NREL and partner Battelle will help install over 50 solar monitoring stations in Saudi Arabia this year to help measure the region's solar resource and determine where best to build solar arrays. NREL will train Saudis how to operate and maintain the systems.
‘Saudi Arabia is determined to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons,’ said Wail Bamhair, project manager for the Saudi team that visited NREL. ‘Renewable energy isn't just an option, but absolutely necessary. We have the means to build renewable energy, and we need to do it.’