JEDDAH: GALAL FAKKAR
Published — Wednesday 30 April 2014
Last update 30 April 2014 2:07 am
Renewable energy sources, including nuclear power, are vital for the country’s future energy needs, experts said here on Tuesday.
Mahir Al-Oudan, chief of research, development and innovation at King Abdul Aziz City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said that far from being a luxury, the use of new forms of renewable energy has become a necessity.
He was speaking at the second scientific conference organized by the department of economics and management at King Abdulaziz University.
“There are many reasons for this. Saudi Arabia consumes 3 million barrels of oil and huge quantities of gas a day for power generation and water desalination plants. On top of that, energy use grows at a rate of 6 to 7 percent every year. Some studies show that, at this rate, Saudi Arabia will consume 9 million barrels of oil a day by 2028,” he said.
“When we use atomic energy for peaceful purposes, this will create 43,000 jobs. And investment in this segment of the economy will provide a high return. I urge players in the private sector, such as banks, other lenders and investment firms to cooperate with King Abdul Aziz City for Atomic and Renewable Energy,” he said.
The session was moderated by Fawwaz Al-Alami, the former undersecretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Participants stressed the need to develop new rules and regulations for energy investments, to create incentives for the private sector.
They said the Kingdom remains one of the world’s highest consumers of oil and gas. They also called for a reduction in government subsidies for oil and gas consumers, and said that large projects in the services sector should use clean energy instead of traditional fossil fuels.
Several Saudi experts have called for the creation of a ministry of energy in the country.