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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Experts at the Future Investment Initiative that began in Riyadh on Tuesday stressed the need to adopt a new approach to global governance and economic development as they believed the traditional order is no longer working.
Leaders from the world of finance and investment have descended on the Saudi capital to review the challenges and opportunities in a fast-evolving global environment.
The event, being held under the theme “The New Compass,” is be an interactive program designed to aid investors in recalibrating new means for their companies and for the global economy.
“As a symbol of guidance and direction, the compass represents the interconnectedness of all directions,” Richard Attias, CEO of FII Institute, said in a statement explaining the theme of the conference.
The first day saw several sessions and panels focused on harnessing big data and advanced analytics, the use of AI-driven energy intelligence in optimizing energy consumption and ways to enhance overall energy efficiency.
Electrification is set to play a pivotal role in the global pursuit of decarbonization, offering a pathway toward a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. However, this transition is not without its challenges, as integrating renewable energy sources, maintaining grid stability, and ensuring reliable access for consumers, particularly in the context of electric vehicles, remain key hurdles to overcome.
According to the International Energy Agency, electricity’s share in total final energy consumption is projected to rise from 20 percent in 2022 to over 27 percent in 2030 under the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario. This shift underscores the increasing significance of electrification in the global energy landscape.
Saudi Arabia, a major energy producer and exporter, is embarking on an ambitious transformative journey that encompasses substantial investments in grid infrastructure, renewable energy, and EV production. These efforts are not only transforming the Kingdom’s energy sector but also hold the potential to make significant contributions to global decarbonization efforts.
Speakers on the first day agreed that the energy sector is in the midst of a profound transformation, driven by the urgent need to combat climate change and reduce our environmental footprint.
Experts also believe that Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a promising tool to facilitate this transformation. They said AI-powered energy intelligence is a cutting-edge approach that leverages the vast potential of big data and advanced analytics to reshape how we generate, distribute, and consume energy.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, it has adopted a model that not only fit the consumer’s needs, but also the provider’s and today, the Kingdom has the cheapest power generation priced at $1 per kilowatt. The Kingdom has already deployed over 1.4 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity, and is planning to add another 20 gigawatts by 2030. Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy resources are vast, with an estimated potential of over 100 gigawatts of solar and 60 gigawatts of wind capacity. The Kingdom is also exploring other renewable energy technologies, such as geothermal and biomass.
Many experts focused on energy markets and AI-driven energy intelligence that is at the forefront of the energy sector’s transformation, optimizing consumption, predicting demand patterns, and enhancing energy efficiency given the current global and regional affairs. The integration of AI in energy data analytics empowers informed decision-making and assists stakeholders in formulating evidence-based energy policies aligned with sustainability and climate goals.
Despite the significant progress that Saudi Arabia has made, experts identified some challenges that need to be addressed in order to fully integrate renewable energy into the grid and ensure a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy.
They said there is a need to develop more efficient and cost-effective ways to store renewable energy.
Another challenge is the need to develop new grid management technologies to integrate renewable energy and EVs into the grid in a reliable and efficient manner, experts said.
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