Saudi Arabia's state-run oil firm Saudi Aramco plans to boost investments in solar energy in an effort to conserve oil resources for export, Bloomberg reported. Initial plans include the development of 300 megawatts of solar power, according to Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih of Aramco.
"The government solar plan is moving very slow, and we are hearing about it for some time, but it's not maturing as fast as it should," Gasem al-Shaikh, head of energy unit at Saudi Binladin Group, said in an interview in Manama.
Al-Shaikh said the country is burning more liquids every year, which could reduce oil exports, prompting Saudi Aramco to act to save petroleum.
Ali al-Naimi, minister of petroleum and mineral resources for Saudi Arabia, said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' cap for oil production remains at 30 million barrels a day.
Al-Falih of Saudi Aramco said during a conference in Bahrain the company will be looking at solar investments, but will add solar capacity gradually. He referenced solar installation mistakes in Germany and Spain for the company's cautious approach.