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Saudi Arabia's Incredible Plan To Create The World's Largest Solar Power Plant

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Saudi Arabia's Incredible Plan To Create The World's Largest Solar Power Plant

Saudi Arabia has its eyes set on building a record-setting power plant which would cover the land area of many of the world's cities, not that they're bragging.

The desert kingdom announced last week that it's partnering with Japanese internet giant, SoftBank, to build a solar power plant with 200 gigawatts of capacity.

To put it into context, 200 gigawatts is the equivalent of 200 BILLION watts - basically, it's huge.

And, at that capacity, the project would be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant that's currently in operation.

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The world's largest solar power complex is currently in Ouarzazate, Morocco (Credit: PA)
The world's largest solar power complex is currently in Ouarzazate, Morocco (Credit: PA)

And it's, quite predictably, not expected to come cheap, either.

The project will require a $200 billion (£142bn) investment in order to be ready by 2030 - should be easy, right?

It illustrates Saudi Arabia's commitment to curb its dependence on oil - a goal the de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, has stated previously.

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Saudi Arabia's solar power capacity is currently about 77 gigawatts.

With a capacity of 200 gigawatts, the solar panels would likely cover a 5,000 square kilometre area, according to Quartz.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Hong Kong's land area covers approximately 1,090 sq km, while New York City is about 784 sq km.

Saudi Arabia's 5,000 sq km plant would dwarf Washington, D.C. at just over 176 sq km.

Experts say there's no guarantee Saudi Arabia will deliver on its plans to build this massive solar power project, MailOnline reports.

Assaad Razzouk, group CEO of Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, told Bloomberg: "I would reserve judgement until I see the first five to 10 gigawatts under construction.

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"There is a lot of work that the two parties, and a whole ecosystem for the companies around them, that has yet to be done."

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The gigantic solar plant comes as Chinese researchers have developed a new solar panel that works in rain or shine.

The panels harvest energy from the sun's rays as well as energy created from the friction of raindrops.

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Researchers think it could also be incorporated into power-generating raincoats that charge the wearer's gadgets during a downpour.

Do we sense the potential for something good to come from the shit weather?

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Saudi Arabia, World News, News, tech, Energy

Rebecca Shepherd
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