Achieving 80% greenhouse gas reduction target in Saudi Arabia under low and medium oil prices

COP 21 led to a global agreement to limit the earth's rising temperature to less than 2 °C. This will require countries to act upon climate change and achieve a significant reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions which will play a pivotal role in shaping future energy systems. Saudi Arabia is the World's largest exporter of crude oil, and the 11th largest CO2 emitter. Understanding the Kingdom's role in global greenhouse gas reduction is critical in shaping the future of fossil fuels. Hence, this work presents an optimisation study to understand how Saudi Arabia can meet the CO2 reduction targets to achieve the 80% reduction in the power generation sector. It is found that the implementation of energy efficiency measures is necessary to enable meeting the 80% target, and it would also lower costs of transition to low carbon energy system while maintaining cleaner use of hydrocarbons with CCS. Setting very deep GHG reduction targets may be economically uncompetitive in consideration of the energy supply requirements. In addition, we determine the breakeven price of crude oil needed to make CCS economically viable. Results show important dimension for pricing CO2 and the role of CCS compared with alternative sources of energy.

Alshammari YM, Sarathy SM (2017) Achieving 80% greenhouse gas reduction target in Saudi Arabia under low and medium oil prices. Energy Policy 101: 502–511. Available:

Research reported in this publication was supported by competitive research funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The author expresses thanks to the IAEA for training and provision of the MESSAGE energy model. Also, the author thanks the University of Vienna and King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies for their support during the revision and update of the manuscript.

Elsevier BV

Energy Policy


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