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Improving Energy Productivity Boosts Saudi GDP

Improving Energy Productivity Boosts Saudi GDP

Saturday, 10 March, 2018 - 11:30

Saudi Arabia's GDP grew by 8 percent in 2016 compared with 2010, a recent report confirmed.

The same report said that China witnessed a 23 percent GDP growth for the same time period, equivalent to $140 billion in the Kingdom and $ 5 trillion in China, citing improving energy productivity in both countries.

A joint study conducted by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center and China’s Energy Research Institute revealed that the two countries are moving towards achieving record levels economically while mitigating climate change impact.

The report attributed these positive steps to the significant progress in energy efficiency.

Economic development and diversification in both countries, together with energy efficiency measures, will contribute in billions of dollars in revenue, the report said.

Energy efficiency and structural economic reform combined increase GDP.

More so, increased energy productivity factors majorly into global economy and rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

The report, published at the first G20 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Forum in Argentina, seeks to encourage investments and bolster a better understanding of energy efficiency-- which is part of the reforms taken up by Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.

Saudi Arabia's energy intensity is declining at a slower rate of about 1 percent per annum. However, the Kingdom still produces more GDP per ton of oil equivalent at around US$8,000, which is around the G20 average.

Energy productivity is a new policy approach increasingly used in by G20 member states, where energy efficiency focuses on reducing the amount of energy required to yield output products such as steel or cement. It falls within energy efficiency but expands to consider increasing value extracted from energy resources.

Energy productivity, or the amount of economic activity per unit of energy consumed, is an indicator that has been used in different contexts around the world to help manage the balance between economic growth and domestic energy consumption. It reflects the level of structural diversification between energy-intensive and nonenergy-intensive activities and the overall energy efficiency of the economy.

Increasing energy efficiency would improve competitiveness of energy-intensive industries. However, it is necessary to raise the chain value for production of commodities, such as ethylene towards higher end products such as plastics and its products.

Oil and gas-rich GCC countries are a hub for refining, chemicals and petrochemical industries.

China is the world's largest net importer of polymers, while Saudi Arabia is the world's largest net exporter, the report said.

The report stressed that cooperation between countries leads to mutual benefit, as trade and development is not a zero-sum game that requires loss of one of the parties.

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