Energy poverty concerns Riyadh

Oct. 26, 2012 at 8:14 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia vows to keep oil prices at levels that allow for well-supplied markets but also make energy affordable for all, a minister said.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, chairman of the board of directors at Saudi Arabian Oil Co., writes in The Journal of the International Energy Agency that his government is "not happy" with high oil prices.

"Saudi Arabia understands the vital role oil plays in economic growth and knows the value and progress which can be derived from energy resources but the price must be reasonable," he writes.

Apart from geopolitical tensions, he writes, tackling energy poverty should be among the top concerns for members of the international community. Beyond affordable energy, wind and solar energy developments should be encouraged in order to provide a well-balanced global energy portfolio.

"Whatever the source, whatever the technology, the priority must be to provide reliable energy worldwide, especially to developing countries," he writes.

Riyadh has started shifting its energy mix to include renewable energy resources to meet growing domestic demand. A September report from Citigroup predicted that Saudi Arabia may need to start importing oil by 2030 to meet domestic energy demand.

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