Daily Management Review

Top Oil Exporting Nations Take up Green Energy due ot Slump in Oil Prices


Top Oil Exporting Nations Take up Green Energy due ot Slump in Oil Prices
Some of the world’s biggest oil exporters are trying to curb domestic consumption of fossil fuels and invest in wind and solar power, due to the oil price slump below $30 barrel, according to government officials meeting in Abu Dhabi.
Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and other oil exporters are in the midst of overhauling domestic energy policies and seeking alternatives to oil and gas for electricity, a month after the historic climate agreement in Paris.
Cutting back on domestic energy demand that is taking up a rising share of production is the prime aim and not the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Government officials attending meetings of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said that the oil exporters would rather sell their fossil fuels abroad than burn them at home.
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, the UAE and other big oil producers have cut electricity and water subsidies, imposed energy conservation measures, and encouraged homeowners to install solar panels in an effort to cut back on domestic consumption, since oil prices began their precipitous slide.
Officials said the slide in prices offered further incentive to get off oil – at least as a source of electricity speaking on the sidelines of Irena’s annual meetings and Abu Dhabi’s sustainability week.
“It is just common sense in my opinion. We are spending so much, something like $8bn (£5.6bn) to $10bn on fuel and power stations, so we want to replace part of it with renewables, and we can also do better with energy conservation and energy efficiency,” said Saad Salem Al Jandel, a research scientist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and a delegate to the Irena meeting.
“Instead of using oil in power generation we might sell it and get hard currency,” Al Jandel added.
Jafar Mohammadnejad Sigaroudi, deputy planning and development in Iran’s ministry of energy said that with the lifting of sanctions, Iran was looking to free up more oil and gas for export by cutting domestic demand.
 “We hope to use our gas for other uses, such as exporting,” he said.
A new energy conservation target and realigned prices for wind and solar energy are being set in a draft regulation that is due to be adopted by the Iranian parliament in the coming weeks. The regulations would also impose a social cost for carbon that will help bring the cost of renewables almost at a par with fossil fuels – even with oil below $30 a barrel.

“Renewables can be the same as fossil fuel because the price of oil is decreasing but the cost of transmission is very high,” he said.
Outstripping China and India energy demand among the Middle Eastern oil producers has grown at 5% a year since 2000. According to a report from Irena, the seventh largest consumer of fossil fuels is Saudi Arabia which is also the world’s biggest oil exporter.

The rise in domestic energy risked eating into exports, warned the United Nations agency, which was founded to promote renewable energy and is based in Abu Dhabi.

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