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Saudi Arabia aims to be renewable leader, says minister

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Staff Writer | January 20, 2017
Saudi Arabia plans to beef up its other energy-generation resources like renewables and nuclear and export that electricity to its neighbors, the kingdom's energy minister said.
Khalid al-Falih
Green energy   To diversify Saudi economy
The moves are part of Saudi Arabia's plan to diversify its economy and lessen its reliance on oil as a source of government revenue and jobs.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih outlined Saudi plans to establish interconnections with Jordan, Egypt, Yemen and even parts of Africa, which he said would allow Saudi to "exchange renewable electricity."

"We want to turn the Kingdom into an energy powerhouse," not just in oil and gas but also wind, solar and nuclear. "We want to turn the Kingdom into an exporter of these diverse energies, including green energies."

Saudi officials have talked about developing renewable energy, especially solar power farms in its vast desert regions, but progress has been slow. Mr. Falih this week unveiled a plan to invest $50 billion in renewable technology over the next two decades.