TOKYO — Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman announced that Saudi Arabia has achieved new world records in reducing the cost of producing electricity from wind energy, thanks to the Al-Ghat and Wa’ad Alshamal projects. “This great step would support the Kingdom’s plans to raise the share of renewable energy to 50 percent of the electricity mix by 2030,” he said during the signing of energy agreements on the sidelines of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum in Tokyo on Tuesday.

As part of Round 4 of the Saudi National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), supervised by the Ministry of Energy, Saudi Power Procurement Company (principal buyer) has signed two power purchase agreements with the consortium led by Japan’s MARUBENI Corporation to procure power from AlGhat Wind Project (600 MW) and Wa’ad Alshamal Wind Project (500MW). The signing of the agreements came after a public competition for five bids for each project. Both projects achieved new world records for wind energy projects in terms of the total cost of electricity production.

Prince Abdulaziz thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Supreme Committee for Energy Mix Affairs for Electricity Production and Enabling Renewable Energy Sector, for all the encouragement, support, and follow up that the Ministry of Energy and its ecosystem receive from the country’s leadership, to enable achieving the Vision 2030 targets in the energy sector. “It is my pleasure to announce that AlGhat project achieved a new world record low cost of electricity production from wind power at 1.56558 cents/kWh (5.87094 halalas/kWh) Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), and Wa’ad Alshamal project has also achieved a second world record low for wind power at 1.70187 cents/kWh (6.38201 halalas/kWh) LCOE,” he said.

Prince Abdulaziz said that the electricity produced from both projects is sufficient to power 257,000 residential units per year, which emphasizes the significance of these projects in enhancing the energy efficiency in Saudi Arabia. He also highlighted that these two projects are part of the National Renewable Energy Program’s efforts towards harnessing renewable energy resources in the Kingdom, displacing liquid fuels in the Kingdom’s power sector, and achieving energy mix where the share of renewables is around 50 percent by 2030.

It is noteworthy that the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) is a strategic initiative under Vision 2030 and the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative. The program aims to maximize the potential of renewable energy in Saudi Arabia. The program sets out an organized and specific road map to diversify local energy sources, stimulate economic development and provide sustainable economic stability to the Kingdom in light of the goals set for Vision 2030, which include establishing the renewable energy industry and supporting the advancement of this promising sector while working to fulfill the Kingdom’s commitments to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

According to data from the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), Saudi Arabia plans to produce 58.7 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, of which the solar source represents about 40 gigawatts.

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