>> The world's largest exporter of oil may seem like an unlikely champion of clean energy. But Saudi Arabia has ambitious new plans to build the world's largest solar power plant, all part of its vision to win the economy of oil. At this government lab outside the capital, Riyadh, researchers are testing the panels to make it all possible.
This is currently Saudi Arabia's biggest solar factory. It's a 100 megawatt facility per year. But under ambitious new plans, the kingdom hopes to build something 2,000 times bigger than this by 2030. Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman recently inked a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build a solar power station capable of generating 200 gigawatts.
That's about half the worlds total output of solar power right now. The project will cost up to 200 billion dollars, and researchers here saying they've been preparing for over 30 years. This is the only lab in the Middle East that can certify the panels for international use. They've been testing them to survive the harshest conditions.
The head researcher says the plans will provide the kingdom, with over three times the amount of solar power they actually need. The idea is to export it.>> The good things is that Saudi Arabia is geographical locations, it's very close to Europe. Europe is the highest demand of energy, and we can export in that.
So that's what gives the Saudi Arabians the opportunity that's the raw materials, all the resources, and the geographical close, the solar radiations, and the manpower.>> Dr Hunka says more details about this mega solar plant will be revealed in the next month. Critics say the eye popping figures aren't realistic.
Saudi Arabia has little track record in solar power, but the kingdom, certainly, has the sun and the land for this bold plan.