When oil prices are high, economies typically try to switch to alternative energy sources. But right now prices are low which should mean oil becomes more attractive.

But it seems even OPEC members are looking beyond black gold this time, as rising populations and increasing consumerism are leading to more energy consumption as a whole.

Saudi Arabia is not only the biggest OPEC exporter, but a big consumer. Oil accounts for 65 percent of all electricity production.

But what if Saudi Arabia sold all the oil it produced, and consumed other energy sources? It could have made an additional $43.8bn in revenue; and it seems it is thinking about that by outlining plans to spend $109bn on alternative energy sources, mostly solar.

So is solar energy the way forward? Can solar power replace oil in the Middle East?

Vicente Lopez-Ibor Mayor, the chairman of Lightsource Renewable Energy, who was previously with the National Energy Commission of Spain, joins us in the discussion.

Source: Al Jazeera