Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power Spearheads Energy Transition

ACWA Power is playing a central role in Saudi Arabia's energy transition
In pursuit of being at the forefront of energy transition, ACWA delivers reliable and responsible power, desalinated water and green hydrogen at low cost

ACWA Power, a leading private developer, investor and operator with 77 power generation and water desalination projects to its name across Saudi Arabia, is driving sustainability and continues to be one of the Middle East’s energy transition leaders.

It has an estimated portfolio size of ﷼310.4 bn (US$82.8bn) and a presence in 13 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Central and South-East Asia.

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Calling itself a proud Saudi national champion, ACWA Power plays a central role in the Kingdom's energy transition.

ACWA Power: Championing sustainable energy generation

Driven by its Develop-Invest-Operate-Optimise business model, ACWA works to ensure its assets are optimised to ensure it performs to the highest standard and as sustainably as possible.

“Through collaborative partnerships and innovative solutions, ACWA Power remains committed to advancing the widespread adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy, shaping a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come,” said Marco Arcelli, ACWA Power’s CEO.

Marco Arcelli, CEO of ACWA Power

He declared this as ACWA Power announced a partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which he called “a significant milestone in our journey towards a sustainable energy future”. 

He added: “By combining our strengths and resources, we are prepared to drive meaningful change and accelerate the transition to renewable energy on a global scale."

ACWA said the partnership will provide a framework for cooperation for the implementation of sustainable energy solutions and accelerate the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide.

Its commitment to climate action is also underpinned by its work with other international organisations and worldwide events, with it being a Green Sponsor under the Saudi Ministry of Energy for MENA Climate Week 2023 in Riyadh, what Marco called a “pivotal event within the COP28 initiative by the United Nations (UN)”.

ACWA Power’s Vice President and Managing Director Raad Al-Saady

Looking ahead to COP29 later this year in Baku, Azerbaijan, ACWA Power’s Vice President and Managing Director Raad Al-Saady congratulated Azerbaijan at the Baku Energy Forum for hosting the UN’s annual event in 2024, reflecting the position of ACWA Power.

How ACWA champions sustainability in a landscape famed for fossil fuels

Despite much of Saudi Arabia’s wealth, prosperity and economic growth being primarily established thanks to its vast oil and gas reserves, the Kingdom is actively pursuing strategies to transition towards a more diversified and sustainable economy.

This is in recognition of the finite nature of fossil fuel resources and the global shift towards renewable energy.

A brief history of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas prosperity:

  • 1938: The discovery of oil in Dammam transformed Saudi Arabia from a relatively poor desert kingdom into a wealthy nation
  • 1970s: The oil boom of the decade resulted in substantial increases in oil prices, boosting Saudi Arabia’s income
  • 1980s: Aramco’s nationalisation consolidated state control over oil resources, making it the world’s most valuable company and a critical pillar of the national economy
  • 1990s: Saudi Arabia's oil and gas sector is characterised by its crucial role in stabilising the global oil market following the Gulf War
  • 2016: Saudi Arabia launches Vision 2030, a strategic plan to reduce the country’s dependence on oil by developing other sectors of the economy and improving sustainability

Vision 2030, a government programme, is working to propel an increased diversification of the Kingdom economically, socially and culturally in line with the vision of Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.

ACWA supports these long-term energy objectives through endeavours such as contributing to sustainable tourism alongside Red Sea Global (RSG). This is to power the Red Sea Project, the world's largest tourism destination powered solely by renewable energy.

This sits alongside its extensive portfolio of renewable energy projects, commitment to sustainability, technological innovation, and contributions to local economic development.

By aligning its operations with the strategic objectives of Vision 2030, ACWA Power not only supports the Kingdom’s transition to a diversified and sustainable economy but also helps position Saudi Arabia as a leader in the global renewable energy sector.

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