UK, Saudi Arabia in talks for joint solar power projects
London is looking to bolster cooperation in the field of green energy with Riyadh after years of selling the kingdom weapons used to kill civilians in Yemen
By News Desk - January 13 2023

(Photo Credit: USAF/Wikipedia)

On 13 January, the UK government announced they are in talks with Saudi Arabia to initiate joint solar power (SBSP) projects.

In collaboration with the UK-based company Space Solar and Riyadh’s Neom city, the two nations seek to use solar panels to acquire solar energy to distribute it amongst the international community.

On Thursday, London’s Secretary of State for Business Grant Shapps met with Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah Alswaha, to discuss the plans to establish joint investments between London and Riyadh.

The UK government said the kingdom has displayed “encouraging signs” in social reform and human rights and is “full of opportunity for the UK economy.”

Sharpp added that Saudi Arabia is on an “ambitious journey to modernize its economy and society, which opens up a host of opportunities for burgeoning British businesses, exporting UK expertise that could transform global access to renewable energy, including space-based solar power.”

The Kingdom’s Neom Megacity project is a part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) 2030 vision, with its development amounting to $500 billion.

The UK has been a major backer of Saudi Arabia during its brutal war against Yemen. Last week, a report titled ‘Fueling Conflict‘ disclosed that the Saudi-led coalition killed 87 Yemeni civilians over 14 months using weapons supplied by the US and the UK between January 2021 and February 2022.

In the report, Oxfam International suggested that the UK has played an integral role in fueling the renewed “pattern of violence against civilians” in Yemen via London’s continued arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition.

In addition to the deaths of 87 civilians, the use of these weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia’s western allies has also resulted in 136 civilian injuries and attacks on 19 hospitals and clinics, amounting to 293 episodes, forcing thousands to flee their homes in Yemen.

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