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SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar project in Saudi Arabia

SoftBank to build the world''s biggest solar project

SoftBank and Saudi Arabia plan to build a $200 billion solar power project in Saudi Arabia. The project is estimated to generate around 200 gigawatts of energy. The Installation of the solar panels is planned in the later part of 2018 and the project would start producing electricity by mid-2019.

Saudi Arabia: SoftBank and Saudi Arabia are planning to build a $200 billion solar power project in Saudi Arabia. The Japanese tech company's CEO and Saudi Crown Prince announced the plan recently in New York.

The project will be partially financed by the $93 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, of which Saudi Arabia is the biggest backer. The initial investment is $5 billion, where $1 billion will come from the SoftBank (SFTBF) fund. The rest will come through loans that will be paid by the revenue generated on selling electricity from the project.

The project is massive and is expected to take a decade to complete. The current target, however is to complete it by 2030. The massive scale will also create entire industries in Saudi for the manufacturing and installation of solar equipment, which will include training facilities and a research and development center so that the new technology will continue to evolve.

The project is estimated to generate around 200 gigawatts of energy, far more than any existing solar project. It would provide enough electricity to simultaneously power about 20 billion LED light bulbs. The plans, however aren't fixed yet. Both the parties signed a memorandum of understanding for the project recently rather than a formal, binding agreement.

The Saudi crown prince has been trying to discourage the use to oil and diversify the economy into new areas. Those efforts have included investments in technology and plans for a vast new $500 billion city. Last year, Saudi Arabia invested $45 billion in technology companies around the world. It is also trying to create a thriving startup culture in the country.

The new solar project will involve the construction of solar parks throughout Saudi Arabia and a large battery to store the energy generated by the panels.

It is estimated that the project will create 100,000 jobs, save $40 billion in power generation costs and would also add $12 billion to the country's gross domestic product over the years.

Installation of the solar panels is planned in the later part of 2018, and the project would start producing electricity by the middle of next year.

The first solar panels will be imported from an established manufacturer, but all the equipment for the project will be manufactured in Saudi Arabia after the first couple of years.

According to TechSci Research, the initiative by SoftBank and Saudi Arabia will bring huge opportunities for the solar power market in the country. In line with the Crown Prince’s efforts to diversify the economy and discourage the dependence of oil, the power plant will generate 200 GW of energy and also provide job opportunities throughout the country.

According to the recently published report by TechSci Research, GCC Solar Power Market, By Technology (Photovoltaic Systems and Concentrated Systems), By Solar Modules (Polycrystalline Silicon Cells, Cadmium Telluride etc.), By Application (Agriculture & Horticulture etc.), By Company and By Geography, Forecast & Opportunities, 2022”, GCC Solar Power market is expected to witness enormous growth over the coming years owing to the largest amount of fossil fuels availability. Moreover, over the couple of decades, consumption of crude oil in GCC countries has increased significantly due to rising power demand due to increasing urbanization and industrialization. However, considering future energy requirements and concerns associated with increasing domestic oil consumption the GCC Solar power market is expected to witness growth over the forecast period.

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