Abu Dhabi, Jan 15 (IECurrentAffairs) Saudi Arabia expects the kingdom’s energy consumption to slump by an equivalent of 1.5 to 2 billion barrels of oil per day by 2030 thanks to Riyadh’s efforts to boost the country’s energy efficiency and policy on energy prices, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Falih said on Tuesday.
“We expect that energy efficiency efforts combined with energy prices will reduce our local energy consumption by 1.5-2 billion barrels per day of oil equivalent by 2030,” Falih said at the Future Sustainability Summit in Abu Dhabi.
The minister added that in order to achieve more energy efficiency Riyadh would start using nuclear power and boost its gas production and exports to improve Saudi Arabia’s carbon footprint.
“Saudi Arabia will begin to introduce nuclear power in the next decade with commissioning two nuclear reactors with the combined 2.32 gigawatts of power. As we switch … we will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions … If we are talking about [gas] exports, I’m talking to my colleagues in [the United Arab] Emirates, Oman and Kuwait about extending a gas grid in the region and we hope to exchange gas and we also hope to export gas to our neighbors,” Falih said.
Another measure envisaged by Riyadh includes increasing energy interconnection between Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries, in particular, through gas trade.
“If we talk about interconnecting electricity, we are working on interconnecting with Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, but GCC [the Gulf Cooperation Council] is also interconnected, so we will be trading gas, electricity, as we trade gas with UAE [United Arab Emirates] in a commercial basis. So more of this interconnection in energy will take place,” the minister added.
The Future Sustainability Summit started in Abu Dhabi earlier on Tuesday and will last through Wednesday.
The international forum brings together politicians, businesspeople, scientists and innovators to debate on how joint efforts at the level of industries and whole countries could help the world meet its sustainability challenges.