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The Saudis' Secret

Investing in Solar to Sell More Oil

Written by Nick Hodge
Posted July 5, 2012

The Saudis know something we don't.

We know they're the world's largest exporter of oil. After Canada, that's where most of your $3.30/gallon goes.

The country that supplied most of the 9/11 hijackers also supplies us with about 1.47 million barrels of oil a day.

As a thank you, we send them about $127 million every single day.

Does that make you angry?

Me, too.

So you'll be thrilled to hear about this...

While renewable technologies like solar remain a political football here at home, the Saudis see its merits — and are fully embracing it.

Why would they do some hippie stuff like that?

For billions of dollars in extra oil profits.

That's the Saudis' Secret

Let me explain...

Last month the Saudis announced a $109 billion investment in solar energy.

The goal of this massive investment? To get one third (33%) of the country's electricity from solar by 2032.

“Why?” you're asking. “Why would they waste $109 billion to get 41,000 megawatts of solar electricity in the next 20 years?”

Because right now the Saudis burn millions of barrels of oil to generate electricity and desalinate water.

This plan will allow them to save 523,000 barrels of oil a day over the next 20 years.

That's nearly half of what they sell just to the United States every day — about $45 million worth of oil.

So by investing $109 billion in solar, the Saudis can sell another $45 million worth of oil every single day... probably to us.


There are 7,300 days in 20 years.

By selling an additional $45 million worth of oil each of those days, the Saudis will make $328.5 billion in extra oil revenue over the next two decades.

That's a 201% return on their $109 billion solar investment.

And most of that profit will come from us while we continue to argue the merits of solar.

What they know that we don't (or at least, that we fail to comprehend) is the cost of solar is falling extremely fast.

What cost $0.14/kilowatt-hour last year costs $0.11/kWh this year... and will cost $0.10/kWh next year.

The cost of solar is falling every year. The cost of oil is only going up.

The Saudis know this.

And they're switching to cheap solar so they can sell the rest of the world expensive oil.

As Sheikh Maher al-Odan, who runs the King's center for atomic and renewable energy, has said:

At world market prices, solar is competitive if you use crude oil to generate electricity. We are not only looking for building solar plants. We want to run a sustainable solar energy sector that will become a driver for the domestic energy for years to come.

I'm all for investing in high-price oil.

But I'm also for taking easy profits from the irrefutable solar transition that's under way.

It's foolish not to play both sides. That's what the Saudis are doing.

And if you want to learn how to do that — including seeing the one technology that's driving the cost of solar lower — you can get started here.

Call it like you see it,

Nick Hodge Signature

Nick Hodge

follow basic@nickchodge on Twitter

Nick is the founder and president of the Outsider Club, and the investment director of the thousands-strong stock advisories, Early Advantage and Wall Street's Underground Profits. He also heads Nick’s Notebook, a private placement and alert service that has raised tens of millions of dollars of investment capital for resource, energy, cannabis, and medical technology companies. Co-author of two best-selling investment books, including Energy Investing for Dummies, his insights have been shared on news programs and in magazines and newspapers around the world. For more on Nick, take a look at his editor's page.

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