Saudi to Create Thousands of Jobs from Solar Program


Saudi Arabia is hoping its solar-power program will generate 7,000 jobs and build a local manufacturing industry that can export products to the world, reducing domestic demand for its crude oil in the process. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources requires bidders seeking to build about 3.45 gigawatts of solar and wind plants by 2020 to spend 30 percent of the capital they invest through home-grown workers and companies, said Turki al-Shehri, head of the renewable project development office for the kingdom. This indicates the importance of the renewable energy program to a kingdom that’s among the world’s biggest exporters of crude oil. With a growing population and surging demand for electricity, Saudi Arabia is seeking new energy supplies to ensure that more of its oil reaches export markets instead of being consumed at home.