Saudi plans renewables push
Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, addressing delegates at Future Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Published: Tue 15 Jan 2019, 8:48 PM
Last updated: Tue 15 Jan 2019, 11:00 PM
Saudi Arabia expects domestic energy consumption to fall by 1.5 million to 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2030 as a result of moves a year ago to hike gasoline and electricity prices, the energy minister said on Monday.
Khalid Al Falih also told an energy industry event in Abu Dhabi that Saudi Arabia planned to issue tenders for at least 12 renewable energy projects this year, as part of a push by the world's biggest oil exporter to diversify its energy mix.
He did not give details of the tenders but said they would "stimulate investor, manufacturing and developer activity across the entire value chain."
The desert kingdom aims to develop about 60 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity in the next 10 years, including 40GW of photovoltaic solar power, 3GW of concentrated solar power and 16GW of wind power the minister said.
Saudi Arabia, which has said it is implementing a deal with Japan's Softbank to develop solar power, wants to boost its power generation from renewables and cleaner gas-fired plants.
The kingdom, which burns about 700,000 barrels per day of oil for electricity in the hottest months from May to August, has hiked the price of gasoline and electricity for its citizens in a bid to curb domestic use of crude so it can export more.
"Since reforms were put in place, we have noticed a growing public interest in energy efficiency, and a clear change in behaviour," Falih said, adding gasoline demand fell 8 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017 and electricity demand also dropped. "We expect that energy efficiency efforts combined with energy price reforms would reduce our local energy consumption by 1.5 to 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2030 compared to a business-as-usual scenario," he told the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
He did not give a total consumption figure. "Over the coming decade, liquids burning in our utilities will be virtually eliminated, while the share of gas capacity will grow from around 50 per cent currently to nearly 70 per cent, which will be the highest among the G20," the minister said. The Energy Ministry would work with the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), in its push to develop renewable power capacity, Falih said.
"The PIF and its selected partners will develop 70 per cent of the total renewable energy capacity with the objective of accelerating the localisation of our manufacturing capability," he said, adding the ministry would tender for 30 per cent. State-run Saudi Aramco had identified more gas resources in the kingdom and would be working to develop unconventional gas reserves found in the east of the Ghawar field, Falih said. - Reuters
UAE's Minister of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of Adnoc Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber and other guests attending the event. - Supplied photo