Saudi Arabia to meet power demand while protecting environment
To help meet an increasing demand for electricity while protecting the environment, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Industry and Electricity is raising awareness about energy conservation.
It has set up a committee to promote energy conservation and manage electrical loads to reduce sudden surges in power. The Government is providing nearly $3.5 million for the full cost of the project.
The group will also advise the Government on energy conservation measures and coordinate their implementation. These are the first steps towards dealing with several energy challenges, and to meet them, the Government is formulating a National Energy Efficiency Program with UNDP and UN agency consultants.
The country needs to satisfy rapidly increasing energy demands driven by economic and social development. Despite its vast oil reserves, the cost of generating more electricity and expanding the national grid is enormous.
Large seasonal variations in electricity consumption due to weather changes and low reserve generating capacity during the hot summer season are other factors driving the program.
Until now there has neither been a central institution to design and implement an energy efficiency strategy nor a national policy on consumption. Furthermore, the environmental costs of energy use are not reflected in consumer prices.
UNDP Resident Representative Jose Eguren said the program aims to help the energy sector promote efficient, rational consumption that is also more environmentally-friendly. Higher efficiency will also provide a sustainable alternative to ever-increasing expansion of energy supply and generation capacity, he noted.
The program will also help preserve natural resources, including oil and gas reserves, reduce energy costs for consumers, and foster economic development and a cleaner environment, he added.
UNDP will provide support services for the program, including assistance with work planning, coordination with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, administration, financial and reporting matters. These efforts will also help build local capacity in energy conservation.
The initiative will support energy auditing in the industrial and commercial sectors, promote utility load management and set policies and regulations for residential buildings and the efficiency of energy-consuming appliances.
It also seeks to improve information exchange on energy efficiency, promote investment in the use of efficient technologies, and carry out campaigns, workshops and other outreach activities to increase awareness of the importance of efficiency. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)