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The Power consumption in Saudi Arabia (2017 - 2020, GWh)

  • The Power consumption in Saudi Arabia reached 286,577 GWh in 2020

  • The indicator recorded a historical decline at a CAGR of 1.34% between 2017 to 2020

The Power consumption in Saudi Arabia (2017 - 2020, GWh)

Published: November 2021
Source: GlobalData

Power consumption in Saudi Arabia

Power consumption has been increasing at a rapid pace, due to a burgeoning economy and a growing population. A large amount of power is required for water desalination plants, due to the low availability of naturally occurring groundwater. This made it necessary for the country to use more oil for power generation, leaving less available for export. This is a development that Saudi Arabia cannot afford, and the government has therefore been focusing on increasing the share of non-oil fuels in its power mix.

The Ministry of Water and Electricity is responsible for the implementation of policies, plans, and strategies for the electricity industry. It is responsible for regulating electricity services and cogeneration; issuing licenses for the generation, transmission, and distribution (T&D), and trade of electricity; and reviewing tariffs. Saudi Arabia is dependent on thermal capacity to meet its power requirements due to the abundant availability of petroleum resources. It has the highest per capita power consumption in the Middle East, which has been growing at a fast pace over the past decade. The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is responsible for most of the generation and distribution, while the National Grid deals with transmission.

Saudi Arabia is working toward the production of power from renewable sources and playing an active role in the development of related new technologies. Saudi Arabia is looking to reduce the internal consumption of fossil fuels and use these resources for export, which will benefit the economy.

Power consumption is the net electricity consumed by the end users by excluding losses and own consumption and after adjusting exports and imports in a calendar year (fiscal year in some cases). The unit is represented in Gigawatt hours (GWh) and the scope is limited to historic period.

Impact of COVID-19 on the power sector in Saudi Arabia

The power sector in the country reported a decline in power consumption. The supply security of the country is maintained as most of the electricity is generated through thermal sources which are abundantly available in the country. The spread of pandemic has also impacted the electricity interconnection projects.

Moreover, COVID-19 has also impacted the growth of renewable energy development in Saudi Arabia. The spread of pandemic has slowed down the construction of large-scale PV projects. This is expected to affect the timelines mentioned in country’s national renewable energy program.

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