Total forms solar JV to power industrial sector in Saudi Arabia

The kingdom plans to meet 50% of power requirements from renewables by 2030

French energy company Total formed a joint venture with Saudi Arabia's Zahid Group to provide solar installations to commercial and industrial companies in the kingdom.

The joint venture, named Saudi French for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (Safeer), will "bring affordable and reliable solar energy solutions", the companies said in a statement.

The joint venture will provide commercial and industrial installations on rooftops and carports.

"In line with our 2050 carbon neutrality ambition and our growth strategy in renewables, we are committed to bring to Safeer Total’s world-class expertise in on-site solar power generation solutions to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy to industrial and commercial customers in Saudi Arabia," Julien Pouget, senior vice president, renewables at Total said.

The joint venture comes amid rising interest in Saudi Arabia's renewables programme. The world's largest oil exporter is turning towards renewable energy to fulfil its own power needs as it looks to spare more crude for export. By 2030, the Gulf country plans to meet 50 per cent of its power requirements from renewables, with the remainder coming from gas.

Saudi Arabia has an ambitious renewables strategy and plans to add 60 gigawatts of clean energy capacity to the grid by 2030.

Of this, 40GW will come from solar photovoltaic panels, 16GW from wind and 2.7GW from concentrated solar power.

The kingdom is currently constructing its first solar and wind power plants. Riyadh also plans to tap nuclear power for civilian use.