By Daniel Shane
Kingdom will have highest spend on energy projects in region over next four years
Authorities in Saudi Arabia will spend $173bn on energy projects between now and 2018, a report said, marking the highest amount of investment in the Arab world.
Combined, countries in the Middle East and North Africa will spend approximately $765bn, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation said in its annual review of projects.
“Cost inflation remains one of the most important factors driving the increase in energy investment,” the report wrote, adding that costs in the region have almost tripled in the last ten years.
Second in terms of spending was the UAE, which plans to invest $113bn during the same timeframe, Apicorp said.
Algeria was third, with $82bn in projects in the pipeline, including “early steps in shale gas”.
Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in renewable energy in a bid to curb domestic consumption of fossil fuels, which eats into oil export revenues.
Last February it published a roadmap for its renewable energy programme, aimed at reducing the amount of oil it burns in power stations.
The world's top oil exporter aims to install 23.9 GW of renewable power capacity by 2020 and 54.1 GW by 2032. If these targets are fulfilled, they would make Saudi Arabia one of the world's main generators of renewable electricity.