Saudi Arabia, a global leader in oil production, plans to create some 7,000 jobs by 2020 through expanding into solar energy.

The kingdom has already made it clear that renewable energy is an important part of its Vision 2030 plan to diversify its economy. 

In January, the kingdom said that it plans to become a "solar powerhouse" and invest tens of billions in renewable energy sources. 

Earlier this month, the kingdom's energy minister said that 10 percent of its electricity will come from renewable energy sources within the next six years.

Turki al-Shehri, head of the renewable project development office for the kingdom, told Bloomberg that Saudi Arabia wants to "create value" through its solar program.

"We don’t just want to bring in companies that open up manufacturing facilities at a very high premium, which the consumer will end up paying. We want to ensure that whatever they are opening is competitive, that it can compete globally for exports," he said.

He explained that the kingdom sees producing solar power as complimenting oil production.

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Saudi Arabia has also taken steps to develop other renewable energy sectors, such as wind power.

In December, the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, announced the launch of the kingdom's very first wind turbine. Wind power will be used to power the company's plant in Turaif.

John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Riyadh-based Gulf Research Center told Arab News that Riyadh "wants to balance economic needs against environmental goals as it has considerable solar power potential and is eager to reduce its use of fossil fuels."