Considering growing energy demand and the increasing cost of fossil fuels, many countries have felt the pinch and are either looking into alternative energy options or using them already. One of these countries includes the big oil producer Kuwait. Kuwait has joined a club of renewable energy promoters and recently began shifting its focus to
renewable energies for the purpose of reducing the country’s environmental burden and increasing the fossil fuels available for export. This practice is becoming a new trend for oil and gas producers in the region. The Kuwaiti Petroleum Institute entered into an agreement with the Kuwaiti Research Institute to develop a practical plan for the use of renewable energy in the petroleum industry. The agreement presents phase two in the promotion of renewable energy in Kuwait.
The project of renewable energy use, undertaken by the Kuwaiti Research Institute and Kuwaiti Petroleum Institute, is being executed in three locations: the Kuwait Oil Company complex, a fuel station of the National Petroleum Company located in western Kuwait, and the gas plant in Mina Abdullah. The current projects are pilot projects to test the use of solar energy in big industries, such as the petroleum industry, and will soon be followed by an expansion to more locations and more industries.
The success of the solar project is a win for Kuwaiti government policy, which aims to reduce domestic use of conventional energy by substituting it with renewables, and thus leave more oil and gas for export. The benefits are abundant: renewable energy in Kuwait is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and economically beneficial since more fuel will be available for export.
With this example in mind, it’s becoming clearer that renewable energy in general, and solar energy specifically, don’t necessarily have to be substitutes for oil, but rather complements to it.
Kuwaiti representatives have acknowledged, however, that the use of natural gas is expected to increase in the near future and that it could be a clean energy alternative to oil.
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– Sanaa Chakibi, EHS Regulatory Consultant