• KA-Care has visited nuclear providers to explore options
  • Waste-to-energy must be utilised in the region

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Centre for Atomic & Renewable Energy (KA-Care) is to focus solely on nuclear power, while the Saudi Electricity Company(SEC) and Saudi Aramco will take over the kingdom’s renewables programme, said Fareed al-Yagout, president of the local National Power Company, speaking at MEED’s MENA Power Conference in Abu Dhabi on 8 June.

KA-Care has now visited nuclear providers from several countries to explore the options.

They include:

  • South Korea
  • China
  • Germany
  • France
  • US

“It is exploring the idea of a nuclear power plant, but this takes 10 years,” says Al-Yagout. “The process has started, but [we don’t know] how it will end. “There are supporters and detractors, and the government will decide.”

A joint venture of SEC and Saudi Aramco will manage Saudi Arabia’s renewables projects. At present, it is planning to purchase solar equipment itself and only use contractors for installation.

Despite falls in the price of solar, it is still seen as expensive in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is also exploring solar chillers for air conditioning, using steam from concentrated solar power to produce steam for multi-effect distillation desalination, and other sources of renewable energy.

“We have to use waste-to-energy in the region,” says Al-Yagout. “The amount of waste in landfills needs to be utilised properly. We should recommend this to governments and push for waste-to-energy, as it is a proven technology.”

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