renewable energy finance
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Saudi Arabia has commenced a renewable energy development programme offering loans for clean energy projects and the manufacturers of renewable energy components, according to a report by Reuters.

The $28 billion Saudi Industrial Development Fund’s Mtujadeda programme is expected to help the emirate move from its dependence on crude oil, towards other diversified energy sources.

Saudi Arabi has traditionally relied on crude oil to fuel it’s electricity needs but wants to include more natural gas and other clean energy alternatives.

The programme opened for applications on Sunday, and will offer loans as high as 1.2 billion riyals, depending on the applicant company’s ownership status, and will target independent power production projects.

The programmes will also support firms in other sectors in the region that want to start using renewable energy.

“Whether you’re in manufacturing, agriculture or retail, if you want to deploy renewable energy, we will finance it,” said Ibrahim Almojel, the fund’s director general. "For renewables to be adopted in the kingdom, we need to support it.”

 “Our objective is really to find new sources of energy to be less dependent on oil and to enable the manufacturing sector to continue its progress,” said Ahmed AlGwaiz, the industrial fund’s vice president of risk management, adding that the loans will be available for Saudi or foreign-owned companies. “We treat all clients, as long as they’re in Saudi Arabia, the same.”

The fund has already entered into dialogue with “large retailers and large agriculture producers” interested in using renewable energy, according to Almojel.

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The fund, which was started in 1979, is being reworked by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to suit his plan for life after oil, dubbed Vision 2030, and was also recently expanded to allow for the financing of energy, logistics and mining projects.