Solar energySaudi Arabia has good potential for solar energy use, with an average irradiance of 5.8 kWh/m2/day, or the average annual solar radiation of 2,200 kWh/m2. The national science agency recently announced a new initiative to construct solar-powered desalination plants, with construction of the first stage, a 30,000 m3/day plant in Al-Khafji, due for completion in late 2012. Under the terms of an agreement signed in June 2010, Saudi Aramco are to develop a pilot solar power plant that will have a capacity of 10 MW and is due to come on stream in 2011. Another 20 MW solar power plant is due to be built at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, along with a center devoted to PV technology.Wind energySaudi Arabia has high wind energy potential, with some 4.9 hours of full-load wind per day on average, the highest wind energy potential in the region. Several sites have been identified as having suitable potential. An economic assessment of a wind farm of 20 MW installed capacity in the Eastern region of Saudi Arabia found that the wind farm could generate 59,037.7 MWh of electricity annually with plant capacity factor of 33.7%, excluding the wake losses of 3.48%. With prevalent wind turbine and other equipment costs, installation, civil works, balance of plants and operation and maintenance costs, the proposed wind farm could produced the energy at US$2.94 per kWh, indicating that grid connected wind farms could be developed in and around the measurement site.Geothermal energyDespite the potential availability of geothermal sources, the Kingdom has not made any serious advances in the sector. 10 thermal springs have been identified, with temperatures ranging from 50ºC to 120ºC.HydropowerSaudi Arabia has no economically-viable hydro-electric power sources.BiofuelsPartnerships have been formed between Saudi companies and foreign investors for the production of biofuels. Plantations have been converted to grow Jatropha curcas, with a 5,000 hectare trial plantation. However, governmental support for the technology is low, with ministers suggesting solar energy is a more suitable energy-secure and environmentally-friendly fuel source.