Saudi Arabia seeks European partners for hydrogen production

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Saudi Arabia

The world’s largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia is looking to partner with European firms to develop blue and green hydrogen, as the Kingdom moves ahead with plans to generate 50 percent of renewable energy.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Kingdom’s Minister of Energy, said that the country has aspirations to become “another Germany” when it comes to renewables.

“We’re working with so many countries on green hydrogen and blue hydrogen and … I could say that we will be pioneering more of that blue hydrogen and green hydrogen,” stated Prince Abdulaziz at Future Investment Initiative, an annual forum held in Riyadh to discuss trends in the world economy and investment environment.

The minister’s comment follows ambitious plans set out by his ministry to examine the potential to become a clean gas exporter.

Hydrogen has become a popular alternative fuel among Gulf oil producers looking to diversify their energy sources. Blue hydrogen is derived from gas, while renewable sources produce the green variant.

Saudi Arabia’s plans to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon dependency will start with its utility sector, the minister says.

Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman
Energy Minister – Saudi Arabia

“We would be converting 50 percent of our power sector’s fuel into gas, and the rest will be coming from renewables. In tandem with that, we will be saving thousands and hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that are going to waste, that we could export. The country will be “progressively” moving with its efficiency program and price reforms. We [as] Saudi Arabia [are] a staunch believer of [the] Paris Agreement. And we will do everything as a government to enable our government companies to achieve their targets. The agreement will bring lots of economic growth, and lots of diversity.”

Saudi Arabia has initiated a program for renewable energy and is developing the first solar and wind power plants. The Gulf country is also preparing to develop nuclear power for civilian use.