ECRA measures on energy efficiency paying off

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Energy efficiency measures undertaken by the Electricity & Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA) have paid off as consumption of electricity per person in Saudi Arabia dropped to its lowest level since 1993 last year.

Saudi Arabia had in 2018 hiked the electricity charges and gasoline prices in an effort to reduce domestic consumption — which tends to spike in the summer when the temperature in the country often rises to above 50 degrees Celsius.

“Since reforms were put in place, we have noticed a growing public interest in energy efficiency, and a clear change in behavior,” former energy minister Khalid Al-Falih had said at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in early 2019.

Saudi Arabia’s power consumption reached a new peak level of 61,743 MW in 2018 amid rising temperature levels and the start of the school year across the Kingdom, a senior Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) official said in a statement.

“Power consumption has reached its highest level YTD over the last two days,” he added.

The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) targets 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023 in support of the Vision 2030, with an interim target of 3.45 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2020.

According to ECRA, energy consumption per customer in Saudi Arabia measured at 36.9 kilowatts in 2014. By 2019, that level had decreased to 29.5 kilowatts.

The Kingdom has developed several plans for energy efficiency, which includes an investment by its sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), in ACWA Power for the development of renewable energy.

It also plans to generate 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from renewable sources a year by 2023 through 60 projects, involving an investment that is estimated to be between $30 billion and $50 billion.


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