Saudi Arabia is on track to achieve its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tonnes a year by 2030, officials said at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum on Monday.
The kingdom has added 2.1 gigawatts of renewable energy to its grid since last year bringing the total capacity of installed renewable energy to 2.8 gigawatts, marking a 300 per cent increase, the officials said.
By the end of the year, production capacity of renewable energy projects under construction in Saudi Arabia is expected to exceed 8 gigawatts, with an additional 13 gigawatts of capacity in various stages of development across several projects.
Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter and the Arab world's biggest economy, has set ambitious targets to fight climate change and cut carbon emissions to overhaul its economy and reduce its reliance on oil.
It has set a target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.
An $8.5 billion green hydrogen project is being developed in the kingdom’s smart city Neom.
The project, which is expected to come on stream in 2025, will use 4 gigawatts of renewable power from solar, wind and storage to produce 650 tonnes a day of hydrogen from electrolysis.
It will produce about 1.2 million tonnes of green ammonia a year.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been most active in the GCC region in adopting measures aimed at mitigating climate change, despite their reliance on oil and gas exports, according to the Middle East and Africa Environmental Sustainability scorecard, commissioned by Kuwait’s Agility and compiled by Geneva-based Horizon Group.
The index examined the performance of 17 countries in areas such as environmental sustainability outcomes, government policies and corporate practices.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporting company, was among the 50 oil and gas companies that signed the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter, which calls for net-zero emissions by 2050 or before and near-zero upstream methane emissions by the end of the decade.
Meanwhile, Acwa Power, which is backed by the Public Investment Fund, has operations in 12 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and South-east Asia.
The International Energy Agency expects global demand for oil and gas to peak by 2030 amid rising adoption of renewable-energy technology and electric vehicles.
Renewable energy is expected to make up nearly half of the global electricity mix by the end of the decade under current policies, the Paris-based agency said in its World Energy Outlook report in October.
By the end of the decade, there will be 10 times as many electric cars on the road worldwide, with the share of renewable energy in power generation rising to 50 per cent from 20 per cent now, the IEA said.