41
OPEC bulletin 11–12/14
Saudi Arabia is burning approximately one billion barrels of oil every
year in order to keep up with its expanding domestic energy demand,
and this is often highly subsidized by the government. The fact is the
Kingdom’s energy usage is increasing at an annual rate of eight per
cent with demand expected to double to 120 gigawatts of electric-
ity (GWe) by 2030.
In order to tackle this burgeoning energy demand from a rapidly
growing population, where soaring temperatures and high levels of
water desalination are exacerbating the problems, the Kingdom is
taking crucial steps to diversify its domestic energy sources, primar-
ily through the use of nuclear power and renewable energy.
In 2010, a royal decree was issued stating that “development of
atomic energy is essential to meet the Kingdom’s growing require-
ments for energy to generate electricity, produce desalinated water,
and reduce reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.”
Saudi Arabia today standsdetermined tohave54GWe of its future
energy provided by means other than hydrocarbons, with 15 per cent
of its total domestic energy requirements provided by nuclear power,
33 per cent by solar power, eight per cent by wind power, with another
two per cent coming from waste-to-energy.
Despite being one of the largest oil-
producing nations in the world, Saudi
Arabia has been experiencing growing
energyproblemsdomestically. Fromwater
desalination to electricity generation, all
energy requirements have been supplied
through the burning of the Kingdom’s
most valuable resource — crude oil. But
that is all changing. Now the government
is spearheadingan ambitiousprogramme
utilizing nuclear and renewable energy to
help satisfy its growing need for power
in the years ahead. Nawaf AlSalloum, a
Saudi national, who is spending time as
an internat theOPECSecretariat inVienna,
reports on the Kingdom’s plans for the
OPEC Bulletin.
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