Energy Efficiency: The Opportunity in Saudi Arabia

Energy Efficiency: The Opportunity in Saudi Arabia

January 23, 2014 at 12:01am

The need to improve fuel efficiency in Saudi Arabia is urgent. Fortunately, the opportunities for capturing efficiency gains are equally large.

Currently, electricity demand is increasing by 7% a year, and if left unchecked, could result in an increase in domestic demand from about 3 million barrels of oil a year today to 8.2 million barrels a day by 2030. That compares with an oil production capacity today of 12.5 million barrels a day.

Improving the efficiency of domestic fuel consumption will be a big part of addressing this challenge, and that is why Saudi Arabia is targeting 20% energy savings by 2020. That would have a huge impact, since an 8% increase in energy efficiency practices could help save more than SAR 50 billion ($13.33 billion) over 10 years.

A GE white paper finds that by upgrading nearly 250 GE gas turbines already operational in the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia could save more than 5,100 MMBTU/hour (million British thermal units per hour) of fuel.

In order to discuss innovative approaches to enhance the Kingdom’s energy supply efficiency, the Saudi Ministry of Water & Electricity and GE organized a forum earlier this week titled, ‘Partners in Energy Supply Efficiency’ at the Saudi GE Innovation Center in Dhahran Techno-Valley.

H.E Eng. Abdullah Al-Hussayen, Minister of Water & Electricity, attended the event, which also saw participation from the Saudi Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, the Saudi Electricity Company, Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center and the King Fahad University of Petroleum & Minerals, among others.

For more on GE’s energy efficiency technologies in gas turbine power generation, click here. For more on GE’s eight decades in Saudi Arabia, click here.

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