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Assessment of the carbon abatement and removal opportunities of the Arabian Gulf Countries
Alatiq, A.; Aljedani, W.; Abussaud, A.; Algarni, O.; Pilorgé, H.; Wilcox, J. (2021). Assessment of the carbon abatement and removal opportunities of the Arabian Gulf Countries. Clean Energy 5(2): 340-353. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ce/zkab015
In: Clean Energy. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISSN 2515-4230; e-ISSN 2515-4230, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Alatiq, A.
  • Aljedani, W.
  • Abussaud, A.
  • Algarni, O.
  • Pilorgé, H.
  • Wilcox, J.

Abstract
    The Arabian Gulf Countries (AGC) are strongly reliant on the economic export of fossil fuels, while being vulnerable to climate change that is resulting in temperature increase, air pollution and sea-level rise, and threatening the health of the population and ecosystem. In agreement with the Paris Accords, most of the AGC have published short-term goals to reduce their carbon emissions in the coming decades. In relation to these goals, this study explores the potential CO2 reduction, avoidance and removal in the region, by comparing a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario to three decarbonization scenarios for the power sector. In 2018, the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the AGC were ~1333 MtCO2/yr and are expected to rise to 1568 MtCO2/yr in 2030 following a BAU scenario, which is likely to be reduced to 1522 MtCO2/yr in 2030 by following the countries’ planning. Countries issued plans for the coming decades that focus on increasing the share of renewable energy in their grid mix. The three decarbonization scenarios presented in this study focus on supply-side technological solutions. The retirement of the oldest natural-gas and oil power plants could lead to a total emissions reduction of ~75 MtCO2/yr, without accounting for the embodied carbon emissions associated with renewable energy. In addition, the implementation of point-source capture at power plants expected to retire in >10 years’ time could avoid emissions of ~240 MtCO2/yr, provided the CO2 is permanently sequestered in appropriate geological formations. The region also shows high-quality solar resources and large CO2-storage potential that could couple to direct air-capture plants to offset difficult-to-avoid emissions. This last scenario has the potential to ultimately result in net negative emissions.

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