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

  • The Power import in Saudi Arabia reached 4 GWh in 2020

  • The indicator recorded a historical growth at a CAGR of 10% between 2017 to 2020

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

Published: November 2021
Source: GlobalData

Power import in Saudi Arabia recorded a YoY growth in 2020

Prior to 2010, Saudi Arabia had no electricity import or export. The import and export of electricity were low over the 2011–2014 period. Between 2014 and 2018, country has always been a net exporter of electricity.

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.

Supply Security

Saudi Arabia is self-sufficient, in terms of meeting its electricity requirements. With respect to energy security, Saudi Arabia possesses one of the largest oil reserves in the world which is used for power generation.


Saudi Arabia’s power sector will benefit from the government’s intention to diversify the power mix and the privatizations initiated in 2014. Most of its power is currently generated from the oil produced at its oil fields, along with the gas that is simultaneously extracted. Gas-based generation capacity is expected to increase, and new plants are expected to use combined-cycle technology, rather than the simple cycle technology that is currently in use.

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