A slide in solar power costs and a surge in oil prices over the last few years has made solar power a win-win strategy for Saudi Arabia: saving billions of dollars of crude for export while making electricity at less than half the cost, reports Reuters News. The country plans to install 41,000 megawatts of solar power over the next 20 years. “Saudi Arabia is determined to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons,” said Wail Bamhair, the project manager for the Saudi team that visited the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Renewable energy isn’t just an option, but absolutely necessary. We have the means to build renewable energy, and we need to do it,” he noted. Solar panel prices have fallen more than 80 percent over the last five years, because of global over-supply and lower demand in Europe, while average annual crude oil prices have risen by a third, making the sun a very cheap source of electricity for a country that currently burns oil which it could export for over $100 a barrel. Solar has become economical.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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