HomeCarbon NewsSaudi Arabia Powers Up its Green Energy Evolution With Carbon Capture

Saudi Arabia Powers Up its Green Energy Evolution With Carbon Capture

The Saudi Power Procurement Co. (SPPC) has put out bids for four separate power plant projects, totalling 7,200 megawatts in capacity. Two of these projects, Rumah1 and Rumah2, are slated for the central region, while Nairyah1 and Nairyah2 will be in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.

Each of these projects is designed to produce 1,800MW of power, using natural gas combined-cycle technology and incorporating carbon capture methods. 

Carbon capture involves the use of various technologies that draw in CO2 from the atmosphere and store it away or use it for other purposes. 

Powering Tomorrow Sustainably

The Saudi Arabian Government took charge of SPPC in 2021. The government licensed it to be the single buyer of electrical energy and capacity from generators within the Kingdom.

SPPC’s primary focus is to align the projects with the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), aiming to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060. Their approach employs a circular carbon economy while the timeline depends on technology advancements. 

Moreover, these initiatives are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. It is Saudi Arabia’s plan to enhance energy generation efficiency and cut costs by diversifying power production. The Vision also aims for a balanced electricity generation split of 50-50 between renewable sources and gas, reducing reliance on liquid fuel in the power sector.

This will help the nation reach the optimal energy mix for its electricity production. The Kingdom is actively leading the energy transition in the Middle East region. Their leadership is driven by various initiatives such as the SGI and the broader Middle East Green Initiative

The SGI is driving a comprehensive and enduring plan to address climate concerns sustainably. Three main goals direct the efforts of SGI: reducing emissions, expanding forestation, and safeguarding land and sea areas. 

Since its inception in 2021, SGI has set in motion more than 80 initiatives. The initiative commits to continuing this progress in its third year and beyond, aiming for more advancements.

Saudi Arabia initiative

Diversifying Energy Landscapes

In an interview, Muneef Al-Muneef, the general director of renewable energy policies at the Saudi Ministry of Energy, highlighted the Kingdom’s progress in advancing 22.8 gigawatts of renewable energy projects. 

Al-Muneef emphasized Kingdom’s openness to diverse technologies such as hydro-storage and geothermal, evaluating their potential applicability in meeting energy targets. He specifically said that:

“We don’t really tie ourselves to one. We’re consistently monitoring the potential of these technologies and their level of applicability in the Kingdom and whether these technologies can help us achieve our targets.”

In October 2023, Saudi utility firm ACWA Power achieved a commercial operation certificate for the 2nd phase of the Sudair solar power project. This reinforces the Kingdom’s commitment to renewable energy pursuits. 

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Alkhorayef, affirmed the Kingdom’s dedication to accessing competitively priced green energy at the annual ceremony of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program in December last year. 

This ultimately showcased the country’s steadfast momentum in the field of sustainable energy.

In July 2023, Saudi Arabia placed a $2.6 billion bet on the global mining industry for clean energy transition. The strategic move brought in a 10% stake in Vale SA’s base metals division. 

In another deal, Saudi and regional companies participated in the largest carbon credit auction initiated by the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF)

Carbon credits work as permits allowing entities to release a specific quantity of CO2 or other gasses into the atmosphere. Each credit corresponds to a tonne of emissions. These credits operate within a system meant to curb carbon emissions by establishing a marketplace where entities can trade their emission permits. 

Investments in diverse power projects, aligning with the Saudi Green Initiative, signal Saudi Arabia’s commitment to a sustainable energy future. With ambitious targets and technological openness, the nation paves the way for renewable energy dominance in the region.

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