Fuel for Thought: The best thing to come out of Saudi Arabia this week? Dates

The day has finally come when Saudi Arabia offers more information as to its plans for renewable energy.

A field of solar panels at Saudi Arabias King Abdulaziz City of Sciences and Technology. The kingdom has created an organisation to manage its renewables projects – and the announcement included deadlines. Fahad Shadeed / Reuters
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The day came when Saudi Arabia offered more information as to its plans for renewable energy.

An email was sent from the Ministry of Energy and Industry's newly created renewables division, the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo).

That message presented a couple of interesting points, such as the creation of a body (Repdo) that will be in charge of the process from A to Z, as well as the locations of the solar and wind projects.

To say the message was detailed is an understatement, particularly given the kingdom’s communications history.

But the most interesting part was the actual dates listed:

The request for qualification (RFQ) will be issued on February 20, "expected to close in July".

The request for proposals (RFP) for 700MW of solar and wind "would go live April 17".

And the grand finale: "The first round of projects is due to be awarded in September."

Why is this of particular interest?

Saudi Arabia is showing it is committed to getting these projects under way with a specific timeline that can hold the kingdom accountable for any delays or failure.

This is a positive move for those who may have questioned if the kingdom was really serious about its renewables ambitions.

lgraves@thenational.ae

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