Saudi to invest $266 bln in 'cleaner' energy: Minister

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud speaks during the fourth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference at the capital Riyadh s Ritz-Carlton hotel on January 27, 2021. AFP

Speaking at a forum organised by Saudi oil giant Aramco, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the world’s biggest crude exporter was also looking to become a global leader in hydrogen production.

“We are introducing over a trillion riyals ($266 billion) worth of investment by 2030 to address our plans to achieve cleaner forms of electricity within the kingdom as well as expanding and modernising the power transmission and distribution grid,” he said.

“On the hydrogen front, we are determined to be the leading exporter as well as availing clean hydrogen for local usages in heavy industries to produce green products,” he told the seventh annual IKTVA forum in Dhahran in a speech.

The kingdom would also double down on carbon capture solutions.

“We are no longer going to build any future power generation without carbon capture,” the Saudi minister said.

Despite its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2060, Saudi Arabia remains hugely dependent on crude oil exports that have powered its growth for decades, raising doubts about its potential for an economic makeover any time soon.

Soaring crude prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine allowed the kingdom to post in 2022 its first budget surplus in nine years, giving it the financial firepower for economic development.

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