Energy Efficiency: The Opportunity in Saudi Arabia
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.