The UAE’s The National reports that Saudi Arabia is ready to sign an agreement with French nuclear plant designer Areva to move forward on both solar and nuclear power production in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia has incredible electrical power demands, demands that grow every year. Whether it’s simply lighting for new homes to house the swelling population, electricity to run desalination plants that provide the bulk of the country’s drinking water, or power to run air conditioning in the desert kingdom, the need for electric power is practically endless.
Saudi Arabia, of course, is endowed with enormous oil supplies. As rich as it is, though, oil is a finite resource with global demand. The solar potential, on the other hand, is near-infinite. The problem with solar energy, though, is that electricity production is not terribly efficient yet. Nuclear power is seen as a reasonable source of energy until solar becomes more practicable.
Saudi Arabia to sign deal with French nuclear firm
Saudi Binladin Group and the French nuclear reactor designer Areva are to sign an agreement on nuclear and solar power, advancing Saudi plans for diversifying the kingdom’s electricity supply.
Anne Lauvergeon, the chief executive of Areva, announced the prospective deal in Riyadh on Sunday, saying the companies would sign a partnership agreement to develop both types of power. She declined to give further details.
“We are in a major energy evolution in the region,” Ms Lauvergeon told a conference in the Saudi capital. “In the past it was oil and gas, and that was it. Now it’s oil, gas, renewables and nuclear.
Al-Arabiya TV carries its own report on Saudi energy needs: