Aramco plans 12GW renewables investment

23 June 2022
Oil giant aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions from operation of its assets by 2050

Saudi Aramco’s plan to invest in 12,000MW of renewable energy by 2030 entails investing in the kingdom’s national renewable energy programme as well as through affiliate investments in renewables and the purchase of renewable energy certificates.

“Those will likely primarily come in the form of investments in the Public Investment Fund’s (PIF’s) solar and wind projects,” an industry source tells MEED.

It is also expected that the oil giant will expand off-grid and grid-connected solar and wind energy solutions as an important source of low-carbon energy for its operations, similar to its adoption of cogeneration facilities to boost energy efficiency.  

“Aramco … has committed to investing in 12GW of renewable energy by 2030,” the oil giant said in its first sustainability report. “We will use the allocation of renewable energy credits from these investments towards decarbonising the power supplied to our operations.”

Saudi Aramco Power Company (Sapco), a subsidiary of the oil giant, owns a 30 per cent stake in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that is implementing the 1,500MW Sudair solar photovoltaic (PV) scheme in Saudi Arabia.

Acwa Power and Water & Electricity Holding Company (Badeel) will each maintain a 35 per cent stake in the SPV, Sudair One Renewable Energy Company.   

It is expected that Sapco will own shares in future renewable energy projects being developed by PIF as part of the kingdom's goal to develop 58,700MW of renewable capacity by 2030.

Investments in renewables by affiliates Motiva, Arlanxeo and Saudi Aramco Jubail Refinery (Sasref) will also contribute to Aramco's overall goal of meeting its 12,000MW renewable energy commitment by 2030.

READ: Energy transition ramps up with $220bn of projects

In October 2021, Aramco announced its goal to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across wholly-owned operated assets by 2050 in support of the kingdom’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

In addition to ramping up investment in renewable energy under the company’s climate change and energy transition initiative, Aramco intends to pursue other projects to meet this target.

Energy-efficiency initiatives include gas turbine upgrades, boiler and fired heater efficiency improvement, and a commitment to reach near-zero upstream methane intensity by 2030. It is also exploring expanding its carbon capture, utilisation and storage capacity.

The company intends to plant 300 million mangrove trees by 2035, up from the current 13.3 million, as part of its in-kingdom carbon offset programme. It aims for 350 million mangrove trees by 2035 outside of Saudi Arabia.

Source: Saudi Aramco 2021 Sustainability Report

“Climate change is a serious risk to humanity’s future and restoring the world to a better carbon balance requires us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with both oil and gas production and use,” Aramco chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan stated in the report.  

“We are already an industry leader in minimising emissions at the point of production. To strengthen that position, we have set our ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across our wholly-owned operated assets by 2050.

“But we recognise that as long as demand for oil and gas exists, emissions also have to be tackled at the point of combustion too. We cannot do this alone — no one company can — but we are committed to working towards a lower-emissions future with our customers and partners around the world.”

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