KSA’s first solar-powered gas station opened in Jeddah

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May 13, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s first solar-powered gas station has just been opened in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

The Kingdom’s drive toward solar power began in February with the Energy Ministry’s announcement of a solar station in the northern city of Sakaka.

The project is the first of many within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Renewable Energy Program.

Solar-powered gas stations have grown in popularity as environmental awareness continues to spread.

On top of being noiseless, solar power is also completely emissions free. Renewable energy is highly environment friendly, since it helps significantly cut emissions spewed into the atmosphere and helps benevolent environmental investments.

“In line with the vision of our leadership, and with the support of our board, the Saudi energy market has become home to the first solar-powered gas station with the use of photoelectric panels,” said Mamdouh Al-Rukhimi, managing director of NAFT, the company that owns the station.

One of the key aspects of the Vision 2030 reform program is to nationalize as much of the Kingdom’s renewable-energy value chain as possible, making solar power its new “yellow petroleum,” he added.

“The melding of fossil and renewable energy will show the world just how well these two resources can be exploited in unison, which is what NAFT is aiming for as it works to bring Vision 2030 to reality.”

As to how consumers are expected to feel about the new gas station, Al-Rukhimi said people fully understand how solar power can reduce emissions to the atmosphere.

“The company will analyze the Saudi market’s need for more solar applications and provide them as, where and when needed,” he added.

“The Kingdom is the ideal place for solar-energy projects that would be greatly beneficial for households, local manufacturers, and groundwater systems that are in increasing demand.”

NAFT built this pioneering project in collaboration with Italian solar energy company whose export manager, Massimo Favaron, said 40 percent of gas stations in Italy are solar powered.

“Many Italian and international providers of gas and petroleum products have begun to switch to photoelectric energy to power their supply stations, thanks to it being a sustainable, natural and versatile source of energy,” said Favaron.

Despite the Kingdom’s clear strengths in solar and wind energy, the Vision 2030 website says it has yet to have a competitive renewable energy sector.

National energy consumption is expected to triple by 2030, which is why the Kingdom wants to add as much as 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy to the national capacity by 2023 as a starting point.

This article was first published in Arab News

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