Why the Saudis are Looking at Solar

sunset orangeSaudi Arabia makes more than 10 million barrels of oil a day, but it may be turning an eye on a cleaner, brighter prospect: solar power.

Oil minister Ali al-Nuaimi told French media that the oil-rich nation is researching how it can become a center for solar energy research and eventually become a “major megawatt” exporter in the next 30-50 years. He also said that Saudi Arabia is ready to invest in carbon capture and storage, even developing technology to extract carbon dioxide (CO2 – a major global warming pollutant) from the atmosphere and store it underground (I’ll admit, I haven’t heard of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere before).

This all comes on the heels of an agreement last November by Gulf OPEC members to invest three-quarters of a billion dollars US to fighting global warming and financing clean technologies. But is this just an attempt to be seen as a big player in the hot solar energy field — or could the Saudi government be concerned about peak oil and increasing regulations around the world that make fossil fuel use more expensive?


  1. Rose Jones

    Everybody and his brother is ahead of us concerning
    global warming; so why not the Saudis? I’m so glad
    the “inept one” will soon be out of office. Maybe
    then we can go back to being the leaders in this
    technology that we should have been 7 years ago.

  2. Bobby B.

    It’s really not fair to lay all the blame on the “inept one”. Solar technology has been in its infancy for about 120 years. It is about time it started to grow up.

    And by the way, don’t expect Hillobama or the McCaininator to do much better.

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