(MENAFN - Arab News) The Shoura Council urged the Ministry of Water and Electricity to use solar energy for electricity generation, according to Fahad Al-Hamd, assistant to the president.
Speaking to reporters after the Shoura meeting yesterday, he said the consultative body stressed the need for producing electricity at the new desalination plants, if viable.
According to the amended Electricity Law, dual production should be made mandatory for all desalination and electricity projects established on the Kingdom's coasts.
The Shoura emphasized the need for linking electricity supply lines in various parts of the Kingdom and urged the government to make necessary allocations for this purpose.
Makkah is gradually becoming the first Saudi city to operate a utility-scale plant generating electricity from renewables. The plant will produce 385 gigawatt-hours per year, including 100 megawatts of solar capacity, one source said.
These plans are the latest indication that Saudi Arabia is stepping up efforts to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on oil and gas for power production.
During the Shoura meeting, Muhsin Al-Hazmi, chairman of the health and environment committee, urged the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties to present its annual report to the Shoura.
The committee also advised health institutions to cooperate with the commission, in order to train and employ graduates holding health related degrees. The commission has been asked to conduct more training courses for Saudi doctors.
The Shoura unanimously endorsed the agreement signed with Turkey for cooperation and support in customs.
The cultural and media committee agreed to open a translation department at King Abdul Aziz Foundation (Darah) for different languages, and to create jobs for computer programing graduates.
During the Shoura meeting, the Islamic and Judicial Affairs Committee revealed that the Court of Grievances in the Kingdom dealt with 63,502 cases in 2010, 4,464 cases more than the previous year.