Saudi Arabia pledges to include carbon-capture tech in any new power plant

Kingdom to invest more than $266 billion in production of cleaner electricity

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman spoke of plans 'to achieve cleaner forms of electricity'. Photo: Aramco
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Saudi Arabia will no longer build power generation plants without carbon-capture technology attached, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday.

The world's biggest crude oil producer plans to invest more than $266 billion to produce cleaner electricity and expand its power grid, he said.

"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 told an Aramco event.

The kingdom will double down on carbon capture solutions, as he said the country was "no longer going to build any future power generation without carbon capture".

"On the hydrogen front, we are determined to be the leading exporter, as well as availing clean hydrogen for local usage in heavy industries to produce green products."

Saudi Arabia is now looking to become a global leader in hydrogen production as it aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

The target represents a huge leap for the Saudi Green Initiative — which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the Middle East by 60 per cent, eliminate more than 130 million tonnes of carbon emissions using clean hydrocarbon technology, and for renewables to provide 50 per cent of Saudi Arabia's electricity by 2030.

The kingdom will join the Global Methane Pledge to contribute to the planned 30 per cent cut in emissions of the gas worldwide by 2030.

Saudi Power Procurement Co in September launched five schemes to produce electricity using renewable energy, with a total capacity of 3,300 megawatts, according to the Saudi Press Agency — three wind-energy and two solar projects.

Alongside the net-zero plan — in which the kingdom will rapidly expand already substantial investment in renewable energy — Saudi Arabia will work to restore, conserve and manage one billion hectares of land by 2040.

Updated: January 31, 2023, 8:27 PM