Saudi Arabia Enters Solar Manufacturing – Polysilicon

Saudi Arabia is getting into solar manufacturing by setting up a plant to produce the key material for conventional solar panels – polysilicon.

Saudi-based IDEA Polysilicon, a company financed by Gulf investors to produce polysilicon, will build the plant.

And it will get help from Germany’s Centrotherm Photovoltaics, the second-largest manufacturer of solar equipment in the world. 

The $1.1 billion project is one of the steps the country is taking to diversify its energy resources away from oil. In addition to solar, it also plans to build nuclear power plants.

And Iran could get into the act too. Ironically, as the world tightens sanctions on the country, squeezing its oil exports, the country is looking toward renewable energy, said energy minister Rostam Qasemi, according to Reuters.

"Reliance on hydrocarbon resources in the long run is neither possible nor meets national interests," said Qasemi.

"Gradual reduction of oil consumption on the one hand and a revolutionary and swift move toward using renewable energies on the other hand are the only appropriate mechanisms which can help the country," he said in a speech to the National Energy Conference in southern Iran.

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