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Saudi plans renewables strategy with eye on oil export

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on January 14, 2020
Saudi plans renewables strategy with eye on oil export

(Photo by Ryan Lim)

Saudi Arabia is building an energy strategy with "quite big" dependence on renewables, thereby freeing up more oil for exports, the Kingdom's energy minister said in Abu Dhabi.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, said the way forward will be without any bias or preference to anyone as the Kingdom looks to have effective and economical energy mix.

"The best energy power mix for Saudi Arabia is gas and renewables. By 2030 we will be developing our gas resources. We will be quite big in terms of renewable use," Prince Abdulaziz said during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. "The more we use renewables and gas for our consumption, the more we will be freeing liquids which are exportable to the world market

The Kingdom is "building an energy strategy", which the world will "see and hear in the next few months". "We are focusing more on our energy mix - what would be the most effective, economical energy mix that we have in Saudi Arabia, free of any biases of any nature. We look at the economics of it as opposed to the conceived preferences that we may have."

Prince Abdulaziz said that Saudi Arabia aspires to not just utilise renewables for domestic consumption but export too. "Renewable is a good source of diversifying your economy - if you are engaged in developing, manufacturing and even exporting. Our aspiration is terms of renewables isn't just in fulfilling our domestic demand but involves ourselves in manufacturing and exporting huge amount if we can. Plus developing our local companies and industries to make sure they become as competitive as Masdar for example."

Energy price reforms, efficiency

He pointed out Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer, wants a world which gives level playing field to everyone. "Fundamentally we are proactively engaged in convincing the world that we should be neutral on what source of energy we use as long as we involve ourselves in mitigating the impact that it makes. We believe in producing and using energy efficiently. As a producer we have to become model of how to produce energy in an efficient way, and environmentally sound and safe way."

Prince Abdulaziz highlighted the Kingdom's progress in energy price reforms, efficiency programmes and reducing emissions.

"We have to be efficient consumer of energy. For that to happen, we need to have price reform. We have a very effective price reform programme, which will support efficiency programme."

He added Saudi Arabia has ambitious renewable energy targets, which includes reform measures at buildings, vehicles, utilities and manufacturers.

"We want to become part of the solution and engage with every possible partner to mitigate emissions."


Ashwani Kumar

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