The amount of ongoing investments in the renewable sector in Saudi Arabia is projected to generate up to 750,000 jobs over the next 10 years, finds a recent report.
The study from the US-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) says that with this, renewable energy will become a prominent sector for Saudi’s talent development.
The USSBC is an association of business leaders in both countries working together to improve bilateral business ties by fostering greater cooperation between US and Saudi companies through trade and investment.
The study cited efforts by the Kingdom to localize its manufacturing base as the primary source of job opportunities. The Kingdom aims to bring more scope for employment in the sector by 2028 and beyond to 40-45 per cent.
The Saudi power sector is in the midst of major developments aimed at improving and increasing its ability to provide electricity to both residential and industrial customers.
Measures that will enable the Kingdom to become a global leader in renewable energy include – the desire to diversify its domestic energy mix, addressing strong demand for electricity, the decline in the cost of alternative energy sources, the need to improve energy efficiencies and the abundance of solar radiation across the country.
While the current contribution of renewable energy to the Kingdom’s total capacity is in a nascent stage, the scale of growth is expected to significantly ramp up as the Kingdom aims to reach its ambitious goal of generating 50 percent of its energy through alternative resources by 2030.
In order to reach this goal, the Kingdom will prioritize the growth of the sector through job creation, attracting foreign, direct investments and localizing domestic production and content.
Over the past two decades, an increasing population coupled with a spike in mega-projects has necessitated drastic steps by the government to meet the Kingdom’s demand for electricity.
The population of Saudi Arabia surged by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8 percent between 2000-2019, reaching approximately 34.2 million people, according to the General Statistics Authority (GAStat).
The kingdom has witnessed a rise in construction projects over the last 10 years, particularly mega-projects. The total value of contract awards between 2010–2019 exceeded $533 billion, according to the USSBC Contract Awards List.
Saudi Arabia’s total renewable energy capacity will grow to 5.3 GW (Gigawatt) by 2030 according to USSBC estimates, accounting for 7 percent of the Kingdom’s total 102 GW electricity output. By 2030 solar power is forecast to represent 77 percent of all renewables.