Saudi Arabia has been constantly developing their renewable energy resources in the past years. They are one of the few countries that have a modern approach to this trend of renewable energy. Hence it is no surprise that we saw the largest solar power plant in the world being set up in Riyadh. The solar power plant has been designed and manufactured by Austrian companies which began their operation in the capital of Saudi Arabia after testing out the operation for nearly six months, as reported by Austrian Press Agency.[irp]
The solar power generator which has been built in Riyadh was built and designed by the institute of research at AEE INTEC and the manufacturing company known as GREENoneTEC. The manufacturing company was initially sold to Saudi Arabia for a huge amount of 4.72 million US dollars or 3.6 million Euros. The facility has been fit with a state of the art mounting system and a special solar glass which has been designed to be eco-friendly as well as fight off the sandstorms that frequent Riyadh, as stated by Robert Kanduth, who is the chief of GREENoneTEC, in a press conference which was held in Vienna.
The huge solar power plant is home to solar panels measuring 36,000 square meters and has been able to provide hot water for over 40,000 professors and students of the Princess Noura University. Doris Bures, who is the Austrian Minister for Technology, Innovation, and Transport, stated that the project was clear evidence of the success that the domestic innovation company had gotten in the promotion of Solar Energy.
The minister also stated that she has noted that around 33 percent of all the solar panels being used in and around the European Union have come from Austria. The solar panels bring in sales of around 420 million euros or 550.2 million US dollars and provide full-time employment to 4700 people. She added that around 80 percent of all the solar panels made in Austria are exported to other countries and the volume of the sales has increased fourfold in the past 5 years.[irp]
It is reported that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has aimed to provide hot water to all its residents by the year 2025, using these solar power plants. Some people have applauded the joint efforts of the Saudi government and the Austrian companies who are aiming to provide cheaper energy solutions to its residents. Some Saudi citizens also believe that true progress will only come once Saudi Arabia starts producing its own Solar Panels which will allow them to greatly cut down the costs of such projects which will, in turn, result in bigger and more solar power projects.
They are also hopeful that the solar panel industry will provide more jobs which will attract even more expat workers to come and work in the Kingdom. More countries need to take Saudi Arabia as an example of the development of infrastructure and general development as they have no doubt set a high benchmark for it.