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.