A New Solar Energy Future for Saudi Arabia

January 31, 2021

This is Part 2 of a series on the role of solar energy in Saudi Arabia’s new giga-cities. For part 1, visit The Kingdom’s Big Bet on the Solar Giga-City.

With Saudi Vision 2030’s realization date just more than a decade away, the Kingdom is making major moves to create a new country with new leadership in renewable energy, including solar power. The perfect example of this is the Kingdom’s flagship giga-city, NEOM. But NEOM is the first of many giga-projects the country has lined up. Each will be modern, unique and largely reliant on alternative energy sources. The following giga-projects are in the planning stages and will soon be reality.

Sakaka Solar Project

The first renewable energy project to be built under King Salman’s renewable energy initiative, Sakaka is intended to transform the photovoltaic solar energy sector for the Kingdom, and across the globe.

The massive plant will generate enough solar energy to power 45,000 households and will offset more than 430,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Sakaka will demonstrate the viability of solar energy, and the Kingdom’s global leadership in the market. The project, which has been approved for financing for $319 million, is also expected to generate thousands of new jobs in construction, operations and elsewhere.


Billed as the Kingdom’s pre-eminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination, Qiddiya will boast more than 300 recreational and educational facilities designed around five cornerstones of development: parks & attractions, sports & wellness, motion & mobility (motor sports and sky sports), nature & environment and arts & culture.

Qiddiya is being developed with the younger Saudi population in mind. Sixty-six percent of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35, and have a more worldly, progressive view. The Kingdom is banking on this next generation of people to lead the way in culture and in alternative energy production, especially solar. Qiddiya will feature both.

Wa’ad Al Shamal

This industrial city complex will be built on grounds that are flush with phosphate. Wa’ad Al Shamal will be a fully integrated ecosystem that will support business, energy and workers. The city will include industrial compounds and phosphate facilities, investment and local development centers, railway stations, renewable energy generation and conversion plants (including solar power), potable water plants, solid water treatment plants, manufacturing and heavy industry and a vocational training institute.

The giga-project is intended to not only boost the Saudi economy, but to prepare it to thrive far into the future.


Wellness, the arts and the purity of the Red Sea come together in this seaside retreat city that will be flush with health spas and other relaxation-promoting activities and services. Like other giga-projects, it will be built with the modern world, and the modern economy in mind.

From solar power to new age wellness, Amaala will be built for the future of Saudi Arabia. Saudi luxury will be front and center as well, with a harbor for yachts and a helipad overlooking the facilities.

King Salman Energy Park (SPARK)

Global leadership in renewable energy is the essential goal of Vision 2030. SPARK is the realization of that goal. It is being built as the global hub of the renewable energy industry, with a focus not only on solar and wind energy generation, but supply chain efficiency to move the world into a new epoch of renewables.

According to SPARK’s website, “SPARK will become a 21st century ecosystem for the energy sector, a vibrant international industrial community built on excellence and innovation, and at its heart a world-class workforce. It is also expected to contribute more than $6 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP and create up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs at the maturity stage.”

The Red Sea Project

The future of Saudi Arabia is new ways to work — and new ways to play. The Red Sea Project is part of Vision 2030’s aim to create a global tourism industry for the Kingdom.

An ultra-luxury, year-round destination, the Red Sea Project will showcase the Kingdom’s renewable energy in an environmentally sustainable development that will help prepare the Kingdom to thrive for generations to come.

Situated between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, the site is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa and within eight hours’ flying time of 80 percent of the world’s population.

Vision 2030 is coming into focus with the announcement of these giga-projects. The dream of a new economy powered by renewable solar and wind energy, along with global tourism and shared culture, is getting very close to becoming reality.

Sun Capture is a solar energy services company in Saudi Arabia helping businesses in the GCC bridge the gap between the current rising energy demands and costs, and the coming national move towards affordable renewable energy. To learn more about how solar can help your energy needs and bring your business in line with Saudi Vision 2030, contact us today.