GE expects Saudi boost with green efforts

Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:37 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- General Electric said it expects a boost in its green-energy business in Saudi Arabia as the country looks to conserve oil to meet its export obligations.

Riyadh is seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in investments to build a solar power industry. The government had said it needs to cut domestic oil consumption to preserve its export base.

GE said it expects the demand for gas turbines, used in the water-steam cycle from solar power, to expand readily in Saudi Arabia as it embraces a green economy, reports Bloomberg News.

Riyadh set a goal of generating about 30 percent of its electricity needs from solar power during the next 20 years.

GE said it received an order for eight gas-turbine generators for expanded operations at a Riyadh power station.

Saudi Arabia said it expects energy demand to increase about 8 percent per year. The country has about 500 gas turbines from GE installed, adds Bloomberg.

A September report from Citigroup predicted that Saudi Arabia may need to start importing oil by 2030 to meet domestic energy demand. More than 80 percent of the country's revenue is based on oil.

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