Saudi energy minister affirms importance of ‘Green Initiative’ to enhance Kingdom’s position as energy producer

Saudi energy minister affirms importance of 'Green Initiative' to enhance Kingdom's position as energy producer

Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said that the most important thing in the Green Saudi Initiative is that the Kingdom has elected to reposition itself from an oil and gas producer to a competitive energy producer.
This came during a webinar sponsored by General Electric Company (GE) under the theme “Energy Pathways: Towards a Low-Carbon Future in the GCC Countries”.
“When it comes to energy, we opened our spectrum to focus on three pillars. We must never lose sight of energy security as an extremely fundamental issue; never lose sight of economic prosperity, economic diversity, and the well-being of the economies of individual countries, and global economy,” the Saudi minister said in his keynote speech during the symposium.
“We have to do all of the above while mitigating the concerns of climate change. Obviously, I would insist on emphasizing the point that none of the three [pillars] should be done by compromising the others,” he added.
He disclosed that Saudi Arabia will extract more shale gas, pointing out that shale gas provides additional resources to deliver on the Kingdom’s goal of converting its facilities to gas use by 50 percent with the extraction of all this liquid crude oil and fuel oil, while the other 50 percent is concentrated in renewable energy.
In turn, Scott Strazik, the Chief Executive Officer of GE Gas Power, stressed that “Countries working to evolve their power sectors need to simultaneously balance energy availability and affordability, with the expansion of more sustainable, lower-carbon energy systems. Accomplishing that requires a broad mix of technologies, with a particular focus on renewables and natural gas.”
Strazik noted that the GCC states are well-positioned to take a leading role on actions to address this energy trilemma. A recent white paper by GE, Pathways to Faster Decarbonization in the GCC’s Power Sector, outlines how they can do so through the strategic and urgent deployment of renewables and gas, while transitioning away from liquid fuels.
With large hydrocarbon reserves, depleted oil and gas reservoirs to safely store carbon, seawater access, and tremendous renewable energy potential, he affirmed that the GCC region is well-positioned to be a global leader in the production of low-carbon hydrogen that could be used on its own or blended with natural gas to fuel new power plants or retrofitted facilities.
Beyond a reassessment of the appropriate fuel mix and various power generation solutions, decarbonizing the GCC’s power sector will require strengthening grid transmission and distribution systems and introducing new digital solutions to improve connectivity, visibility, reliability, and flexibility as more variable power sources come online.
As explained in GE’s white paper, further incentives and policies to improve energy efficiency and decrease power consumption will need to be rolled out. Continued access to appropriate financing will also be critical to enable the region’s energy transition. This will require funding from beyond state resources, potentially including public-private partnerships, sukuk-backed projects, export credit agencies, and other means.
Balancing affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy will require many different technologies, fuels, and approaches. However, as Strazik stated, what needs to remain universal among countries around the world, is a shared commitment to act today with the solutions available at present, and not years from now.
“By moving forward with determination today, we can meet our global climate goals, ensure energy access for all, provide the power necessary to drive strong economic growth, and leave behind a world that is safe and sustainable for our children, and the generations to follow them,” he said.
Click the link to watch the webinar:

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