No change in Saudi energy policy
Saudi Arabia is keen on working with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and other non-oil producers to ensure a balance in the global oil market, its energy minister said on Monday.
During a panel interview at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, the newly-appointed State Minister of Energy Affairs Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said that there is no change in Saudi Arabia's energy policy and the Kingdom is committed to working with other oil producing and non-producing nations to ensure the stability of global oil markets.
"We believe in consensus. We need to work together as nations. Being the world largest producer of oil doesn't make us different from the least producing nation. We all have equal values and all that matters is reaching a consensus," he said.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Sunday appointed his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, as the new energy minister, replacing Khalid Al Falih.
"I have been working closely and under Khalid, the outgoing energy minister, and nothing will change," said Abdulaziz. "We all work for the government and follow Saudi Arabia's strong energy policy that doesn't change."
On the escalating US-China trade war and a consequent uncertain global outlook, the Saudi energy minister said he was fundamentally optimistic that it would affect the global economy.
"The trade-wars between world biggest economies are not yet wars, but just temptations. I don't think they will escalate to cause slower demands for oil," said Abdulaziz.
He noted that the kingdom was working on new and improved energy-mix including renewables and that the country's latest pragramme is to experiment two nuclear power plants for producing energy.
Tech, innovations influencing global energy
In a separate discussion, Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said global energy "today is undergoing change at an unprecedented speed, driven by a blend of technology innovations and emerging supply and demand dynamics that influence consumer behaviour and policy making frameworks."
"We stand at a crossroads today - one that makes transition to renewables and clean energy imperative to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement," said Al Marar adding that Abu Dhabi and the UAE take this energy transition very seriously and place it at the core of their programmes and strategies for the sector.
He noted that this week will see the launch of the Abu Dhabi Demand-Side Management and Energy Rationalization Strategy 2030. The ambitious strategy features a joint effort between local stakeholders to reduce electricity consumption by 22 percent and water consumption by 32 percent by 2030, against a 2013 baseline.
"Demand for energy and energy technologies is on the rise; and with that in mind, we developed the Abu Dhabi Integrated Energy Model, 'Energy Cube', which taps into advanced technological tools to test the impact of existing policies on the energy sector and the wider economy, while helping to project future scenarios for the next 10 to 30 years,' said Al Marar.
"We also continue to develop a solid energy infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, and we'll be pleased to share our portfolio of world's leading projects such as the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, Noor Abu Dhabi Solar PV Plant, Al Taweelah Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant, Masdar Clean Energy Company, and many more during the Congress."