By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Saudi Arabia has scrapped a $200 billion plan to build the world’s largest solar-generation project and will instead implement a broader renewable energy strategy, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Citing officials and a Saudi government adviser, the WSJ report said nobody is currently working on the plan.
Instead, Saudi officials are expected to unveil a “broader, more practical strategy to boost renewable energy” at the upcoming Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh in late October, the report noted.
The plan, which was announced in March by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, was expected to be the world’s largest solar power project, with the capacity to generate up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.
A study by management consultancy Strategy& Middle East found that renewable energy deployment and investment in the GCC could reach $16 billion by 2020, which could go to as high as a cumulative total of $40 billion to be invested between 2016 and 2020, provided correct decisions and policies are adopted.
By 2016, GCC countries had invested less than $1 billion in renewables technology.