Saudi Arabia to cut back renewable targets and up gas production
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, has announced that the kingdom is scaling down its renewable energy targets from 50 percent to just ten percent of electricity supply.
Instead, Al-Falih has vowed to double natural gas production and expand the distribution network into western parts of the nation.
“Gas currently makes up around 50 percent of the energy mix in Saudi Arabia, and we have an ambition to see this grow to 70 percent in the future, either from local sources or from abroad," Al-Falih said at a news conference in Jeddah detailing Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan (NTP).
The NTP is a five-year strategy containing targets to be met by each government ministry in order to diversify the country’s economy. The plan will also support Saudi Vision 2030, Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s long-term proposal for reducing dependence on oil revenue.
Generating more domestic power from non-oil sources, like gas and renewables, will leave more crude oil available for export.
Al-Falih claimed that the previous 50 percent renewable target was established as a result of high oil prices.
According to the NTP, the production of dry gas for industrial use will rise from 12 billion cubic feet per day to almost 18 billion.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.