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Mecca to Become First Solar City in Saudi Arabia

By Charles Kennedy | Thu, 27 September 2012 22:22 | 1

Mecca, the birthplace of Muhammad, and Islam’s holiest city, has plans to become the first city in Saudi Arabia to run completely on solar power.

The Saudi Arabian government has said that it will invest $109 billion to establish a strong solar industry across the nation. The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy program is the jewel in this crown, and aims to develop 41 gigawatts of solar capacity over the next 20 years. 25 gigawatts will be installed in the form of solar thermal plants, and the remaining 16 gigawatts will be supplied by photovoltaic panels.

Adnan Amin, the director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said that “Mecca’s program complements that work and may provide a guide for other Middle Eastern cities on how to adopt the technology.”

Osama al-Bar, the Mayor of Mecca, is waiting to receive bids from developers to construct and operate the solar power plants, and will make a decision as to the winner by the 5th of January next year. The city will need 385 gigawatt-hours of power each year and the whole project should be finished by 2018.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Scottar on September 30 2012 said:
    I'll believe it when I see it but they neglect to admit that a lot of the raw materials are oil dependent. And your talking about a country that has money to burn. It's oil money!

    What are the Saudi's going to do when the panels wear out and the oil money runs dry? Neither solar nor wind are self sufficient to replace themselves. I have yet to see the manufacturing plants powered exclusively by both or either.

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