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Oil countries try to use the sun to produce fresh water

For desert residents, this seems to be a natural choice: use the sun to remove salt from groundwater or seawater to make it drinkable.


With the funding of oil, the Saudi government's desalination company (SWCC) has built the world's largest network of desalination plants. However, like many facilities in Saudi Arabia, these plants are mainly powered by fossil fuels.


Solar energy now seems to be an attractive alternative due to the dramatic decline in photovoltaic costs. As of this writing in English, Thomas Altmann, a seawater desalination expert at ACWA Power, said that solar energy is “subverting” the industry, according to a conference held in Paris in April.