Why the Saudis are going Solar

Solar power in a country where gasoline is 50 cents / gallon and electricity is 1c/kwh! This may be the biggest testimonial to the power of the sun. Linked article from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/07/saudis-solar-energy/395315/  written by Jeffrey Ball August 2015 issue. Read on. https://lnkd.in/e8ksMjQ Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al Saud belongs to the family that rules Saudi Arabia. He wears a white thawb and ghutra, the traditional robe and headdress of Arab men, and he has a cavernous office hung with portraits of three Saudi royals. When I visited him in Riyadh this spring, a waiter poured tea and subordinates took notes as Turki spoke. Everything about the man seemed to suggest Western notions of a complacent functionary in a complacent, oil-rich kingdom. But Turki doesn’t fit the stereotype, and neither does his country. Quietly, the prince is helping Saudi Arabia—the quintessential petrostate—prepare to make what could be one of the world’s biggest investments in solar power. Near Riyadh, the government is preparing to build a commercial-scale solar-panel factory. On the Persian Gulf coast, another factory is about to begin producing large quantities of polysilicon, a material used to make solar cells. And next year, the two state-owned companies that control the energy sector—Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, and the Saudi Electricity Company, the kingdom’s main power producer—plan to jointly break ground on about 10 solar projects around the country. The Saudis burn about a quarter of the oil they produce—and their domestic consumption has been rising at an alarming 7 percent a year. […]

By |July 7th, 2015|International, Solar|0 Comments

India’s diesel-guzzling railways are testing coaches with solar panels

From Quartz India, written by Maria Thomas, June 12, 2015 Now, that’s a sun roof. Solar energy has a surprising new supporter in India: The country’s massive state-owned railways. India has one of the largest (pdf) railway networks in the world, running some 12,000 trains that carry over 23 million passengers every day. That’s almost as much as the entire population of Australia. But moving such huge numbers of people—aside from transporting 3 million tonnes of freight daily—requires a massive amount of energy. In 2012, for instance, the Indian Railways consumed nearly 3 millionkilolitres of diesel oil and about 14 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. All that fuel costs a pretty penny— Rs30,000 crore ($4.7 billion) to be exact—that has, over time, begun hurting the balance sheet of the Indian Railways. India’s railway minister, Suresh PrabhakarPrabhu, now wants the railways to control their ballooning fuel bill, even as the number of passengers and amount of freight increase. His plan: Incorporating more alternative energy sources to power trains. […]

By |June 8th, 2015|India, Solar|0 Comments