Saudi Arabia will work to become the next Germany in the renewable energy sector, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at an event on Wednesday.
“We will be another Germany when it comes to renewables,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference held in Riyadh.
“We will be pioneering,” the energy minister added.
Saudi Arabia aims to replace the use of petroleum liquids for power generation with solar energy and gas-fired capacity, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was quoted as saying earlier this week. As part of the program ‘Hydrocarbon Demand Sustainability’, the world’s largest oil exporter will aim to replace petroleum—which it still burns for electricity—with solar power energy, he added.
Last week, the President of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, Khaled Al-Sultan, said that Saudi Arabia was looking to have 50 percent of its electricity generation coming from renewables by 2030, with the other half coming from natural gas-fired power generation.
Saudi Arabia is committed to carbon neutrality, the energy minister said at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) this week but didn’t give details about the timing to potentially achieve that carbon neutrality.
The Saudi example for renewables, Germany, saw last year renewable energy sources producing more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time, according to preliminary data from think tank Agora Energiewende cited by Clean Energy Wire.
Germany’s latest renewable energy act for 2021 targets to raise the country’s solar PV capacity to 100 GW by 2030 from around 52 GW today, increase onshore wind capacity to 71 GW from 55 GW currently, and boost offshore wind capacity to 20 GW from 7.8 GW.
Saudi Arabia, for its part, did not commission any new solar project in 2020, PV magazine reported earlier this month, citing data from analytics company GlobalData. The most likely reason for the Kingdom failing to commission any of the total 1 GW projects expected in 2020 was the desire to renegotiate lower power prices amid declining solar tariffs in the region.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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