Energy watchdog targets cars as fuel use soars in Saudi Arabia

Soaring fuel consumption on Saudi Arabia’s roads has alarmed the Kingdom’s Program for Energy Efficiency, which blames poor performing cars for the problem. (Reuters)
Updated 01 March 2018

Energy watchdog targets cars as fuel use soars in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Soaring fuel consumption on Saudi Arabia’s roads has alarmed the Kingdom’s Program for Energy Efficiency, which blames poor performing cars for the problem.
Cars in the Kingdom average 13 kilometers per liter compared with 14 in the US, 15.2 in China and 20 in Europe, according to Ministry of Transport figures.
The statistics show road transport is responsible for almost a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s energy use, with 22 percent of energy use in the Kingdom directed at the transport sector, 90 percent of which goes on land transport.
About 910,000 barrels of fuel and diesel are consumed daily by 12 million vehicles, according to the Ministry of Transport statistics. By 2030, the number of vehicles is expected to reach 26 million, and daily consumption of fuel and diesel will be around 1.86 million barrels per day.
More than 80,000 kilometers of roads are being built to satisfy growing demand.
The National Center for Energy Efficiency has launched a five-week campaign (#to remain) to raise awareness of energy conservation. The campaign, under the umbrella of the Saudi Program for Energy Efficiency, will consider ways of reducing energy use without affecting living standards.
The Saudi Program for Energy Efficiency has been working with international car manufacturers for several years to improve fuel economy in imported vehicles.
Efficiency standards are expected to improve by 4 percent each year to reach 19 kilometers per liter by 2025.
A total of 78 manufacturers representing 99.7 percent of cars sales in the Kingdom will apply the Saudi “mileage economy standard.”
Improvements are expected to save at least 300,000 barrels of fuel and diesel each day by 2030.


UK ‘to decide on Huawei 5G next week’

Tensions have been rising between the UK and US over Huawei. (AFP)
Updated 26 min 49 sec ago

UK ‘to decide on Huawei 5G next week’

  • Chinese tech giant expected to be permitted to develop country’s 5G network

LONDON: The UK is expected to announce next week whether to allow China’s Huawei to develop its 5G network, an official said on Friday, setting out reasons for agreeing despite opposition from the White House.

The official said the decision had not yet been taken but that it was likely to be next week.
There had been speculation that the UK would allow Huawei into “non-core” elements of the next-generation 5G mobile networks, such as antennae and base stations attached to masts and roofs.
The US has banned Huawei from the rollout of its 5G network because of concerns — strongly denied — that the firm could be under the control of Beijing.
Washington has been lobbying London to do the same, even threatening to limit intelligence sharing between the two allies if Downing Street goes its own way.
The UK Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said this week that a decision would be made “soon,” adding that many factors were being considered.
These included “the availability of other providers” and “the work that Huawei has already done in the UK,” she said.
The senior official said that London — unlike Washington — had been using Huawei technology across national systems for the past 15 years.
Security agencies believe they have managed the risk so far and will be able to do so with the 5G network, the official said.
Banning Huawei entirely could also cost “billions” of pounds and delay the rollout of 5G and full-fiber broadband, the official said.
There is also a problem in that few other firms have the technology that Huawei does.
The company provides the least expensive and most advanced alternative for super-fast data transfers behind technologies such as self-driving cars and remotely operated factory robots.
“There is a market failure here,” the official said, adding that while this could be addressed in the future, for now “we are where we are.”
The UK’s debate about Huawei has dragged on for more than a year, amid intense political turmoil over its exit from the EU.
Brexit day is now set for Jan. 31.