Saudi Arabia will invest more than SR 500 billion into electricity projects during the next 15 years, said Dr. Saleh Al-Awaji, deputy minister for electricity affairs. Rationalization of power consumption could help the Kingdom save SR 7.7 billion ($2.05 billion) annually, he added.
Speaking to reporters in Riyadh, he said about 60 percent of electricity supply in the Kingdom is consumed by homes, mainly for the purpose of air-conditioning. "This can be reduced by 40 to 50 percent by adopting power-saving systems and measures," he said.
Al-Awaji said demand for electricity in the Kingdom was growing at the rate of 9% annually during the past 30 years. "Citizens should play a vital role in reducing wastage of electricity."
Saudi Arabia currently generates more than 55,000 megawatts .
Total electricity subscribers in the Kingdom rose to 7 million last July, Al-Awaji said, adding that maximum load on power network reached 51,000 megawatts. He said the Kingdom would require 85,000 megawatts by the end of 2020 to meet demand.
About 76 percent of electricity is consumed by homes, traders and government buildings. Energy-saving airconditioners can reduce consumption from 60 to 20%. The use of oil for power production will increase from 4 to 8 million barrels per year by 2030.