Solar Facts & Figures

Increasing Electricity Consumption

Electricity consumption is expected to increase with at least 5% per annum on average for the coming decade, resulting in an additional capacity requirement exceeding 60 GW. 

In 2011 the electricty consumption amounted to 211.56 billion kWh.



Current Status: Installed Capacity

Solar PV: 22.1 MW
Solar thermal: 25 MW

Biggest consumers 

  • residential sector (50%)
  • industry (17%)
  • commercial entities (16%)
  • governmental agencies (13%)

Average solar irradiation in Saudi Arabia is about twice as high as in Germany.

Average solar irradiation exceeds 1.800 kWh/m2 up to 2.200 in some locations. The Tabuk area has the highest irraditation.


What are the Solar Targets?

41 GW solar target for 2032 - 16GW of that is to be PV - 6GW is to be installed before 2020 

Governmental policy maker K.A.CARE has set a 41 GW installed solar capacity target for 2032 of which 16 GW should be PV, of which 6GW is targeted to be installed before 2020.

Saudi Aramco targets GWs

Additional to the K.A.CARE targets, the national oil company Saudi Aramco has its own Gigawatt (PV solar) target.

Aramco signed initial agreement to develop plants generating 300 megawatt of solar power in remote areas in Saudi Arabia to reduce the burning of diesel for power generation in these areas, al-Falih said.

Local demand for crude has increased to the point where volumes meant for exports may fall to unacceptably low levels in the coming two decades.
— Aramco annual review May 15

Thought Experiment

Today, 141 GWp (sufficient to cover 100% of Saudi Arabia's electricity needs) of PV installations would require an investment of around 141 billion euros. 

226,2 billion kWh equals 139 million barrels of oil equivalent. Selling this oil equivalent for 25 years at around $105 dollar per barrel on the market would generate 270 billion euros of revenue. 


Country profile

13th Largest Country in the World

with 2,149,690 sq km surface

Population = approx. 29.196.000


Roughly five and a half million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors.

Rapid GDP Growth

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Saudi Arabia grew by 3.6% in 2013, 5.1% in 2012, and 8.6% in 2011.

Current (2013) GDP estimate: $718.5 billion

Ranked as the 22nd best country to do business in of 2013

2/3th of the electricity is generated through petroleum inputs

Oil Society

The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 45% of budget revenues, 55% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings.