Saudi Arabia announces plans for post-oil economy
Late last month, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vowed to end the kingdom’s dependence on oil revenue by 2020.
This comes alongside the unveiling of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 – the prince’s blueprint for diversifying the kingdom’s economy and raising non-oil government revenue.
Clause 2.2.3 of the Vision 2030 document solidifies the Saudi commitment to a renewable energy market, stating: “Even though we have an impressive natural potential for solar and wind power… we still lack a competitive renewable energy sector at present.”
The document also establishes a 9.5GW target for renewable energy generation by 2030.
There is a dedicated $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund set aside for developing a post-oil Saudi Arabia. However, some sources believe that Saudi society will need to be liberalised before the proposed economic reforms can be implemented effectively.
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Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.