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Saudi Arabia to focus on renewable energy

A multimillion-riyal world-class research centre for renewable energy has been set up at the Dhahran-based King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).

The aim of the research centre is to help the country play the role of world energy leader for years to come. The centre is currently working on resource mobilisation before its premier research activities kick off in a year’s time.
SU Rahman, interim director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy (CoRE-RE) at KFUPM said that the ministry of higher education has supported the initiative with a mandate to pursue research programmes in the field of renewable energy.

The centre has already started working with the vision statement “Empower the Kingdom to continue as the world energy leader,” Rahman, who holds a doctorate degree from KFUPM, said there is evidence of ample interest in alternative fuels in Saudi Arabia, including the generation and use of hydrogen and solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuels.

“Moreover, it is high time to pursue intensive studies and research in the field of renewable energy as the kingdom lags behind in this area,” he added.

The move to open this research centre is also significant in view of the fact that Saudi Arabia continues to face long-term economic challenges that put pressures on Saudi oil revenues. Hence, there is a need to diversify the economy and decrease reliance on oil, the earnings of which make up around 90-95 per cent of the total Saudi export earnings, 70-80 per cent of state revenues, and around 40 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Khaleej Times

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