Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project, reports Bloomberg. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son presented the new project in New York with a Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The heir of the world´s largest crude exporter wants to diversify the economy of Saudi Kingdom. “It’s a huge step in human history. It’s bold, risky and we hope we succeed doing that,” Prince Mohammed said.
The Saudi Kingdom has everything what a country needs for a solar park. “Great sunshine, great size of available land and great engineers, great labor, but most importantly, the best and greatest vision,” Son told to the press.
“At 200 gigawatts, the project planned for the Saudi desert would be about 100 times larger than the next biggest proposed development, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Son said he envisions the project, which runs the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing, will create as many as 100,000 jobs and shave $40 billion off power costs. The development will reach its maximum capacity by 2030 and may cost close to $1 billion a gigawatt.”
SoftBank seeks investment and Saudi needs energy, writes Bloomberg´s News Energy Finance Jenny Chase. Over the next three to four years SoftBank plans to invest $ 25 billion in Saudi Arabia.
Son, who is known as a savvy investor with a flair for the spotlight, has been promoting clean energy since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to Bloomberg, and recently completed a 50-megawatt wind power farm in Mongolia. He has very bold plans to connect Asian nations by grids and undersea cables to distribute clean energy.
In addition, Saudis plan to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years, which will cost of more than $80 billion. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the demand for electricity has risen 9 percent a year since 2000.