It would be such a shame if countries with huge solar potential would sit around doing nothing about it. Saudi Arabia is not to be told twice! First, because it is one of those countries which enjoy sunlight from dawn till dusk and second of all, because some of its massive oil reserves are slowly but surely emptying out.
The use of solar power combined with the oil industry is not something new in the Middle East. So Saudi Arabia is again taking the lead in the solar energy field, trying to even surpass Germany.
In the course of the coming 20 years, it plans to install roughly 1 GW (1,000 MW) of solar per year; doing the math, it sums up to 20 GW around 2020. These are very impressive numbers that confirm previous rumors and if reached, the plan will catapult Saudi Arabia to the top of the market list.
It has reason to do so: the averaged value of solar insolation in Medina during summer is 7.83 kWh per square meter each day. If you want an example closer to home, you can make a parallel with the south Californian deserts, which are also hurrying to advance in the solar-plant race, especially with the funding subsidies ensured by the Obama administration.
For more details about the project, interested parties can attend the MENASOL 2011 event in Casablanca, on the 4th and 5th of May. Conferences and presentations are organized to make participants more familiar with possibilities their own regions might offer, how to finance, develop and build facilities.