67 year old Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud wants Saudi Arabia to be fully powered by renewable energy in his lifetime. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest oil producers in the world and is probably the most symbolic oil-rich nation. The fact that the country’s leaders want to transition away from oil despite the fact that they are oil rich highlights the need to stop relying on finite fossil fuels.
If Saudi Arabia can transition to renewable energy than the rest of the world can surely do it too.
However, he insisted Saudi was moving ahead with investment in renewable energy, nuclear power and other alternatives to fossil fuels and that it could use its vast oil reserves for other goods, such as plastics and polymers.
“Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source,” he said. “If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world. I wish that may be in my lifetime, but I don’t think it will be.”
Joss Garman, political director of Greenpeace, said: “It speaks volumes that a Saudi prince can see the benefits of switching to clean energy sources when [UK chancellor] George Osborne seemingly cannot, but Saudi Arabia will only truly be a green economy when it leaves its fossil fuels in the ground.”