Saudi Arabia cuts back renewable goal for natural gas

Saudi Arabia cuts back renewable goal for natural gas

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter is cutting back its renewable-power targets and aims on using more natural gas, according to Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih.

The country plans to have power generation from renewables make up 10 per cent of the energy mix, a decrease from a previous target of 50 per cent.

Al-Falih and other ministers announced new details of Saudi Arabia’s solar power program to overhaul the country’s economy on Monday.

“Our energy mix has shifted more toward gas, so the need for high targets from renewable sources isn’t there anymore,” said Al-Falih. “The previous target of 50 percent from renewable sources was an initial target and it was built on high oil prices.”

The Minister said the country will double its natural gas production and the government will expand the distribution network to the western part of the nation.

Saudi Aramco has previously set up several ventures with international partners to explore for gas, but most companies withdrew from their projects.

“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,” explained Al-Falih.