Saudi Arabia, the oil capital of the world, has recently revealed plans to rely on 100% non-fossil fuel and low-carbon energy. According to the statement made by 67-year-old Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, one of the state’s main spokespeople, he hopes to see this transition take place within his lifetime.
This is a process that could take several decades, and that is with serious work put into it. The prince noted that the country is moving forward with nuclear power, investment renewables, and other fossil fuel alternatives.
“Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source,” he said. “If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world. I wish that may be in my lifetime, but I don’t think it will be.”
Today, almost all of Saudi Arabia’s energy is created through fossil fuels. About 12 million barrels of oil are pumped every day through one-fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves beneath Saudi Arabia’s ground.
Obviously there are skeptics over whether or not this is a genuine move or typical political greenwashing. If Saudi Arabia does make the switch to 100% non-fossil fuel energy within the next 20 years or so, it will definitely send a message to the rest of the world – if the biggest oil exporter on the planet can commit to it, why can’t the rest of us?
Image Wikimedia Commons: Kimgdon Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by RroadArrow