Carbon Management for Sustainable Development: An examination of potential transition paths for the Saudi Arabian ‘national system of innovation’ towards a cleaner energy economy
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Since the first industrial revolution, rising carbon emissions have caused harmful effects on our environment. There is a broad consensus that climate change is happening and that it is as a result of anthropogenic carbon emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels. This raises concern for the future of our carbon-based world energy and world economy, particularly with economies heavily dependent on oil, such as Saudi Arabia. This dissertation aims to answer the question: How could Saudi Arabia, given its oil-based economy and vast oil reserves, respond to the challenges of climate change and the world’s transitioning towards environmental sustainability, and away from fossil fuels. Two studies have been conducted, a quantitative study and a qualitative study. The first study examined the Saudi energy sector, 40 life cycle assessment (LCA) studies on both carbon capture and storage (CCS) and solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) were used to create 12 scenarios for 3 growth cases from year 2010 to 2025. Results showed massive reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in all scenarios. The second study examined the economy of Saudi Arabia, using 30 interviews with participants from across the economy, to materialise the Saudi national system of innovation. Major forces of the economy and their relationships have been identified and discussed. Using both studies, transition paths of the Saudi NSI towards a sustainable and cleaner energy economy were then constructed and discussed. A Saudi sustainable carbon management ‘system of innovation’ (SSCMSI) was proposed. Given Saudi Arabia’s heavy dependence on oil, which characterised its NSI fabric, constructing an NSI around its energy sector was important. The proposed SSCMSI role includes: accelerating innovation in the energy sector, encouraging energy efficiency, accelerating the use of renewable energy, improving market conditions, supporting technology transfer from advanced economies, utilising international cooperation and mobilizing private sector investment in energy.
AuthorsMansouri, Noura Youssef
- Theses