Saudi Arabia – the world’s biggest oil exporter – has decided to reduce their fossil fuels dependence and turn towards the sustainable energy usage. The domestic oil consumption has been remaining on a constantly growing level in the last years. Saudi Arabia is on the seventh place among the world’s largest oil consumers. However, the situation is likely to change soon.
For Saudi Arabia the year 2023 has become the finish line for their new renewable energy program which premises the $30- $50 billion investment in green energy. The country is going to cooperate in the renewable projects with Yemen, Jordan and Egypt in order to exchange the non-fossil sources. In addition to that, there is also a plan of a considerable investment in nuclear energy.
As John Sfakianakis – a director of economic research at the Riyadh-based Gulf Research Center – maintains, the country’s renewable energy usage potential is very promising which is surely creating a good prognosis for the sustainable future of Saudi Arabia following the total oil reliance. Both economic and environmental needs must be satisfied, hence the turn in the energy usage is inevitable. Saudi Arabia’s CO2 emission is too high and the country’s perfect solar power potential becomes a good solution to the problem.
According to the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), hydrocarbons are going to be the main element in the energy mix in 2023 (60GW). The nuclear energy will support it at 17.6GW, solar at 41GW – including photovoltaic cells generating 16GW. 25GW will come from the concentrated solar power, 9GW from wind,3GW from waste-to-energy and 1GW from geothermal.
Obviously, the plan is very ambitious, therefore implementing it must take enough time to govern the process properly. The first step to start the process could be installation of smart electricity household meters taking care of saving energy, which would result in lower pressure for government in the time of some potential oil prices falls.
A very important and quickly visible effect of the appearance of the green energy sector in the economy would be not only better environment condition, but also the creation of new jobs for Saudis. It has been estimated that renewable energy projects can bring 140,000 jobs on average every year. Thus, achieving the energy goals is going to bring a lot of Saudi Arabia’s economy enhancement and improve the citizens lives and surrounding.
The change will lead the country into a new path and will significantly affect the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the other countries. Renewables have already become a new country’s sector and are going to grow in significance until the year 2023 and the final sustainability goal.