KAPSARC Tackles Challenges of Electricity Tranisition at Saudi Chapter Meeting

Article published by the Saudi Gazette, October 19, 2017

The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) addressed the Climate Change Polices and Challenges of the Electricity Transition in the GCC, during the meeting of Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Saudi Chapter in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, hosted by the center on Monday.

The meeting aims to discuss the best ways to achieve energy efficient goals, the vice president of research at KAPSARC said. David Hobbes explained in his speech the important role which the Center plays in advancing scientific research to find solutions for effective use of energy in the region and globally. He provided examples of energy policy instruments that can help the kingdom meet its energy efficiency goals.

Ali Alqahtani, with Saudi Aramco Facilities Planning Department and President of AEE Saudi Chapter, highlighted objectives that the Chapter shares with Vision 2030 goals in promoting efficient use of energy in the kingdom and raise awareness in this area.

Mohammad Al Wathaifi, Energy Optimization Specialist with Saudi Aramco Process and Control Systems Department Vice President of the AEE Chapter, delivered a presentation on the AEE Chapter’s efforts to establish a networking platform for energy engineers to share knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and emphasized on the benefits of collaboration between professional societies and research centers in the kingdom.

The event included two technical sessions, a session on Climate Change Polices and Governance: Meeting Saudi Arabia’s Carbon Mitigation Goals. Douglas Cooke, Program Director of Energy Transitions and Environment at the center and David Wogan a Research Associate at Energy Systems and Macroeconomics program, presented preliminary results from KAPSARC’s study of potentially practical policy options for Saudi Arabia to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 130 mtpa CO2-e by 2030. In the second session by Nora Nezamuddin, a Senior Research Analyst in Transport and Urban Infrastructure program and Rolando Fuentes, a Research Fellow in Energy Transitions and Environment program at the center, discussed the reform in the GCC Electricity Sector.

This presentation explored the main challenges of the electricity transition in the GCC. Moving to a new power system will require significant reforms in the Gulf states, which may have to transform: state-run companies to private entities, monopolies to competitive markets, fossil fuel generation to a diversified electricity mix and from regulated to liberalized prices. KAPSARC strives to establish and promote cooperation and interaction among all scientific and research associations and to enhance acknowledge of research related to energy economics, policy, technology and the environment.

The AEE is an international non-profit organization with 17,500 members in 100 countries. The Saudi AEE Chapter objective is to raise the technical knowledge in the fields of energy efficiency, energy management, renewable energy and sustainability.