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Gulf countries promote clean energy construction

日期: 2021-12-16
浏览次数: 1

Accelerating global energy transformation and realizing green and low-carbon development is the common mission of the international community. In recent years, the Gulf countries have continuously explored the adjustment of energy structure and increased investment in clean energy, so as to reduce their heavy dependence on oil and strive to achieve diversified economic development.


According to the Gulf Times of Qatar, the Arab oil investment company, CO sponsored by 10 Arab oil exporting countries, recently announced that in order to support energy transformation, it will allocate US $1 billion to green energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa in the next two years. The company said that in the coming period, it will introduce green and sustainable bonds, promote the adoption of sustainable business model in the energy industry, and encourage industry participants to practice the concept of energy diversification and sustainability. This initiative reflects the vision of Arab countries, especially Gulf countries, to promote energy transformation and accelerate clean energy development.


Internal and external driving energy transformation


The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other six countries are major members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). These countries are rich in oil and have a relatively single economic structure. Oil is an important support for their economic development.


Relevant data show that in Gulf countries, oil revenue accounts for 50% - 80% of total fiscal revenue and 20% - 90% of total exports. In 2019, petroleum products accounted for about 77% of Saudi Arabia's total exports. 30% of UAE's GDP is directly related to oil and gas production. Oman's fossil energy output value accounts for 35% of its GDP, 60% of its total exports and 70% of its total fiscal revenue. Kuwait has proved 94 billion barrels of oil reserves, about 10% of the world's total reserves, and the output value of oil and gas accounts for about 45% of its GDP. More than 80% of Qatar's government revenue comes from oil and gas. With the reputation of 'Gulf pearl', Bahrain's oil output value also accounts for about 20% of its GDP.


In recent years, Gulf countries have constantly put forward the goal of optimizing industrial structure, hoping to reduce their economic dependence on oil and natural gas. According to the report of the International Monetary Fund, with the change of the supply and demand structure of the oil market in the future, if there is no continuous energy restructuring and economic structure reform, the oil wealth of the Gulf countries may be exhausted by 2034, 'the next 10 years is a key period for the Gulf countries to realize transformation'.


At the same time, with the increasing voice of coping with climate change and emission reduction, Gulf countries are facing increasing pressure on emission reduction. Since October this year, Gulf countries have successively announced their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets: Saudi Arabia announced that it would invest about US $180 billion to strive to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2060; The United Arab Emirates announced that it would achieve carbon neutrality by 2050; Bahrain said it would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060; Qatar said it would achieve the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 25% by 2030.


In an interview with our reporter, Professor Hafez of Egypt University of science and technology said that under their own development needs and external promotion, Gulf countries are trying to achieve economic diversification in innovative ways, including vigorously promoting the upgrading of renewable energy, so as to reshape the energy structure, optimize the overall industrial layout and promote economic growth. 'These adjustments are of positive significance to addressing climate change and reducing global carbon emissions.'


Increase investment in renewable energy


In recent years, Gulf countries have successively introduced plans and projects for the development of clean energy, and achieved certain results. An analysis report by the International Energy Agency last year showed that the accelerated development of clean energy in the Gulf countries could reduce about 136 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the next few years.


The energy strategic plan for 2050 issued by the UAE government proposes that by 2050, the proportion of low-carbon energy in the overall energy consumption of the UAE will increase from the current 25% to more than 50%, and its carbon footprint in the power sector will be reduced by more than 70%. At the same time, the energy consumption efficiency of enterprises and individuals will be increased by more than 40%. The Afghan government said that it has increased investment in renewable energy and low-carbon technologies in the past 15 years, By 2050, invest at least 600 billion dirhams (about 3.67 dirhams for us $1) in the field of renewable energy. At present, the UAE has built and operated two major solar power plants and will start a third larger solar power plant. Among them, the 'Maktoum solar Park' plans to achieve a photovoltaic power generation scale of 5000 MW by 2030.


In the 'vision 2030', the Saudi government stated that it would strive to diversify the Saudi economy and expand competitiveness. Saudi Arabia's energy minister said recently that he plans to invest 380 billion Riyals (about 3.75 Riyals) in renewable energy projects by 2030. In April this year, Saudi Arabia also announced that it will build a 1500 MW solar power plant, which will be the largest solar power plant in the country and is expected to be put into operation in the second half of 2022.


According to the sustainable development goal of 'Qatar 2030 national vision', Qatar Hydropower Corporation announced this year that it will continue to strengthen the construction of electric vehicle charging stations. In August this year, in the city of mesamir, the company installed the first 'energy storage and electric vehicle photovoltaic power station' in Qatar to provide solar power to vehicles through 216 photovoltaic panels distributed within 270 meters. At present, 19 charging stations have been installed in Qatar. Sinohydro also plans to complete the installation and operation of 8 new stations in cooperation with Qatar Ministry of transport and communication, Qatar Foundation and other institutions, and will complete the bidding for the installation and operation of 100 charging stations in China.


At the beginning of this year, Oman officially launched the 25 MW cabs solar power plant project. The project is located in the free zone of Suhar port in northern Oman, covering an area of about 50 hectares. The operation of cabus solar power plant is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 25000 tons per year.


The government of Bahrain proposes to add 255 MW of photovoltaic installed capacity by 2025. In January this year, Bahrain and the United Nations development programme launched a 3-megawatt bidding. The project includes multiple distributed solar power generation facilities distributed in 8 locations, including 66 government buildings. In addition, the construction of a 25 MW solar module production project in Bahrain International Investment park is also accelerating.


Hydrogen energy has great potential for development


According to the report of the international Hydrogen Energy Commission, hydrogen energy is regarded as the clean energy with the most development potential in the 21st century. It has the characteristics of wide sources, high combustion calorific value and high recycling efficiency. In recent years, some Gulf countries have also accelerated the development of hydrogen energy as an important part of energy transformation.


The United Arab Emirates joined the international Hydrogen Energy Commission this year. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company announced that it would produce 300000 tons of hydrogen every year and exported the first batch of blue hydrogen to Japan in early August. Kuwait National Oil Company has recently completed the work of a hydrocracking unit costing us $16 billion, which can produce about 454000 tons of clean fuel every year.


Saudi Arabia recently formulated a $7 billion green hydrogen project, which is expected to be completed in 2025. After completion, the daily output of green hydrogen will be 650 tons and the annual output of green ammonia will be 1.2 million tons, which will become one of the largest green hydrogen projects in the world. Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, said that the company has great potential for hydrogen energy growth and export and hopes to occupy a greater market share of hydrogen energy.


In August this year, Oman established the 'national hydrogen energy alliance', which is composed of 13 public and private sector institutions, including government departments, oil and gas operators, scientific research institutions and ports. The project is also part of the energy diversification goal in Oman's 'vision 2040' economic transformation plan.


According to the analysis of the article in Saudi Arabia's economic daily, if these new energy plans of the Gulf countries are implemented, they will reduce the overall carbon emissions of the Gulf countries and help to gradually optimize their economic structure.


Muazumi, an expert on Gulf Economic Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, pointed out that Gulf countries have unique advantages in developing hydrogen energy. Van Hoff, global energy director of PricewaterhouseCoopers, stressed that the next 10 years are very important for the development of hydrogen projects, including the infrastructure construction of large-scale production, import, distribution and use of hydrogen energy. 'If we successfully grasp this in the next few years, it will pave the way for the exponential growth of hydrogen supply after 2030'.

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