Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research

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Saudi Arabia may be known for its *controversial conservative views and huge oil resources, but little is known about the fact that they are heavily investing in renewable technology that will change the way they use their fossil fuel resources in the future. The use of renewable and clean energy is taking a boom in America, but it is a process that will take decades.* But nowadays, other countries are taking advantage of those opportunities and...

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  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research

    Wow. Saudi Arabia is leveraging its fossil fuel resources toward building a sustainable energy future. What an idea. Too bad we in the US can only think about driving down short term energy prices so we can fiddle while Rome burns.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,522 admin
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    Re: Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research

    Self interest is a common theme throughout our world.

    Matt Damon's "anti-fracking" movie Promised Land is funded by another OPEC member--the UAE. Would that indicate that "OPEC" believes fracking in the US is environmentally hazardous (for the US), would drive down world oil prices, or the movie will simply make money for the UAE investors? :confused:

    I am not sure that I would put much stock in who funds what regarding any special political/societal actions. It's who you know and how much money you can get from them.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research
    BB. wrote: »
    Self interest is a common theme throughout our world.
    You are absolutely right, but are those self interests taking the long view or the short one? The long view will win out eventually. "Becoming energy independent" by using up domestic resources faster, for example, is a short sighted approach and doomed to eventual failure. After the fracking glut is gone we will be more dependent on others than before. Meanwhile, those "others" are thinking long term and using their profits from selling fossil fuels to us to develop sustainable energy systems for when their oil runs out. When our natural gas runs out I am sure they will be willing to sell us whatever energy tech we need, assuming we can afford it.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,522 admin
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    Re: Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research

    More than likely, given what is known at this time (existing reserves, fracking, etc.), Saudi Arabia will run out of energy reserves long before the US (especially if you include coal and oil shale/tar sands).

    Saudi's are also funding many religious based organizations. From their point of view, that is the ultimate long (and short) term project.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research
    BB. wrote: »
    More than likely, given what is known at this time (existing reserves, fracking, etc.), Saudi Arabia will run out of energy reserves long before the US (especially if you include coal and oil shale/tar sands).
    That's debatable, given the difficulty of assessing undeveloped gas reserves, and even so, it's a finite resource, and coal, oil shale, and tar sands are either a) very expensive to develop, b) much more polluting than lighter carbon/hydrocarbons, or c) both. But however you look at it, fossil fuels are a nonsustainable energy source. Sooner or later, they will be exhausted and unless we both cut back our consumption and develop sustainable energy sources, I do not hold out much hope for the human race on this planet. We will freeze to death in the dark, drown in our own filth, or annihilate one another fighting over dwindling resources. Take your pick.

    The Saudis are doing the right thing (for themselves, of course) and we are not.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Saudi Arabia: Using Oil Taxes for Solar Research

    from what i recall, it is true we have more than the saudis, but what we have is more difficult and expensive to extract. in the future when it really hits home oil is running out, the odds are the government will secure what it wants (under guise of national security) and the rest, if any, at an astronomical high price to be released to the public.

    i agree the saudis may have a vested interest in blocking us from going after other resources, but it's no reason for us to be short sighted either as we too must look further than the immediate future instead of acting like a starving glut for those fossil fuels will deplete one day to the point of not being affordable.