Saudi Arabia announced last week that it’s partnering with Japanese internet giant SoftBank to build a solar power plant with 200 gigawatts of capacity.
At that capacity, the project would be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant that’s currently in operation. And it’s not expected to come cheap, either. The project will require a $200 billion investment in order to be ready by 2030.
At present, Saudi Arabia’s solar power capacity is about 77 gigawatts. With a capacity of 200 gigawatts, the solar panels would likely cover 5,000 sq km, according to Quartz. That would easily cover the land area of many of the world’s cities.
Saudi Arabia’s 5,000 sq km plant would dwarf the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., which is just over 176 sq km.
Saudi Arabia isn’t the only country working to ramp up its solar production capacity. In 2017, the global solar industry produced roughly 100 gigawatts of solar panels. Still, many experts say there’s no guarantee Saudi Arabia will deliver on its plans to build the massive solar power project.
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.
Although it is still in its early stages, researchers believe it could also be incorporated into power-generating raincoats that charge the wearer’s gadgets during a downpour.
Source Credit: Daily Mail