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A local daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia known as the Arab News, has today reported that the state owned Saudi Electricity Company (SECO) plans to spend $80 billion over the next ten years in an attempt to try and help meet the kingdoms rising demand for electricity, which at current rates may see it become a net oil importer within the next two decades, according to Citigroup Inc.
The utility, the largest of its kind in the Middle East by market value, announced that it will increase its generating capacity by 76% from the current 54,000MW to 95,000MW.
Saudi Arabia’s efforts to grow its economy have seen energy demand increase greatly, and it has been calculated that by 2020 demand will increase by at least an extra 30,000MW.
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SECO, 80% owned by the Saudi Arabian state, plans to add an additional 4,000MW of capacity to its network this year, followed by another 8,000MW in 2014.
Much of the new capacity will be in the form of renewable energy, an area that Saudi Arabia has been avidly investing. Plans have already been released by the government to install 41,000MW of solar power by 2032, 25GW of concentrated solar power and 16GW of photovoltaic panels, at an estimated cost of around $109 billion (SR408.75 billion).
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com