Saudi Arabia wants to become the world leader in solar power generation. It plans to invest $200bn to get there. The lofty target looks unlikely to be met, but the intention implies Riyadh is growing cold on potential LNG imports.

Saudi Arabia’s announced solar power plan is audacious in its scope. Even partial success would propel the kingdom to the top of the global table. But the list of previously planned solar projects in Saudi Arabia is long, while the list of constructed solar...