Saudi Arabia could hit 130 GW of renewables by 2030, says GlobalData

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GlobalData say it is “plausible” that Saudi Arabia could close in on its target of 130 GW of renewables by 2030 by strengthening policies, competitive auctions and other financial measures.

Saudi Arabia has a “good chance” of getting close to its target 130 GW of renewables by 2030 if it persists with strict policy implementation, according to a new report by GlobalData.

Its latest report, “Saudi Arabia Power Market Size, Trends, Regulations, Competitive Landscape and Forecast, 2024-2035,” says the country has added 2.1 GW of renewable power capacity since 2022 – a 300% increase from the 700 MW added between 2012 and 2022.

GlobalData predicts that, at its current pace, Saudi Arabia’s renewable power capacity could increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.1% between 2023 and 2030, to reach 31.5 GW by 2030 and 63.1 GW by 2035. It adds that Saudi Arabia’s renewable power projects under construction exceeded 8 GW at the end of last year, primarily due to several projects being awarded through auctions in the past eighteen months.

“With persistent efforts by the policymakers and strict policy implementation, the kingdom has a good chance of reaching close to its set target,” it says. “As per the expected trend, the country would add over 20 GW every year making its target plausible”.

Renewables are expected to equate to 35.4% of Saudi Arabia’s capacity mix by 2035, up from 3.2% in 2023.

Sudeshna Sarmah, an analyst at GlobalData, says the growth of renewable power in Saudi Arabia has picked up pace recently because of the country’s policy to diversify its sources to ensure supply security in the long term.

“Due to the increasing power demand in Saudi Arabia, the country has been over-utilizing its fossil fuel reserves instead of exporting them. An abundance of solar radiation and wind resources makes solar and wind power the key renewable technologies of focus,” adds Sarmah.

According to GlobalData, solar accounted for 82.6% of Saudi Arabia’s total renewable power capacity at the end of last year.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced selected bidders for the fifth round of the Saudi Arabian government’s renewable energy tender program. The announcement followed a geographic survey which located 1,200 potential sites for wind and solar projects across the country.

In February, pv magazine reported on the growth of the country’s solar market from the SunRise Arabia conference.