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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of oil, making the energy sector a crucial component of its economy. The Kingdom has an estimated 16 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, which are primarily located in the Eastern Province. The state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, is responsible for most of the country's oil production and is one of the world's largest oil companies. The company is also involved in the exploration and production of natural gas, as well as refining, marketing, and shipping of petroleum products.

As of 2021, the electricity generation capacity in Saudi Arabia was approximately 83 GW. The country heavily relies on oil and gas for power generation, but it has been actively diversifying its energy mix by investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2021, the country produced about 84.68 TWh of electricity, of which 52 percent came from thermal power plants, 19.5 percent from hydroelectric power plants and 28.5 percent from other renewable energy sources. Saudi Arabia has set a target of generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with a focus on solar energy. Overall, Saudi Arabia is making significant investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, with the aim of diversifying its energy mix and reducing its dependence on oil and gas. The country's renewable energy sector is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with the potential to become a major player in the global renewable energy market.

The country has significant potential for solar and wind energy, which can help diversify its energy mix and reduce its carbon emissions. In 2019, the Saudi government launched the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) with a target of installing 27.3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2024, and 58.7 GW by 2030.


Source: IRENA Statistics 2022


General Information

Saudi Arabia is a prime example of a country with an immense potential for clean hydrogen. Saudi Arabia is exploring ways to become the top supplier of hydrogen in the world and has clean hydrogen production targets of 2.9 million tons per year (t/yr) by 2030 and 4 million t/yr by 2035 (1) . The current focus is to gain a large market share in blue hydrogen,(2) particularly in the form of blue ammonia (i.e., ammonia produced from the combination of ammonia synthesis using hydrocarbon CCUS) in the coming decade.

Saudi Arabia took a major step in September 2020, when its state oil firm Saudi Aramco shipped 40 tons of blue ammonia from Saudi Arabia to Japan. This was the world’s first demonstration of blue ammonia supply chains, entailing the production and international maritime transportation of blue ammonia.Neom features as US$5 billion green hydrogen project that is a joint venture between Neom, Riyadh-based ACWA Power, and Pennsylvania-based Air Products. Expected onstream in 2025, the project’s 4 GW renewable capacity would make it the world’s largest renewable hydrogen-to-ammonia facility in the world, producing 1.2 million tons per year of (3) green hydrogen—roughly equivalent to 5 million barrels of oil per year in (4) energy terms.

On the consumption side, hydrogen use in the transportation sector is under active exploration. Saudi Arabia has tested Toyota Motor’s Mirai sedan-style fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) at Air Product’s Technology Center in the Dhahran Techno Valley Science Park.

In September 2020, Hyundai Motor of (5) South Korea made its first-ever FCEV export to Saudi Arabia (or the Middle East), where Aramco would test Korea’s crossover utility vehicle–style FCEVs (NEXO) and FCEV buses (Elec City) for economic feasibility. There also is exploration of establishing FCEV-related manufacturing capacities in Saudi Arabia involving companies from North America and Europe, including New York-based Hyzon Motors to (6) build an assembly plant for FC trucks and France-based Gaussin to (7) build a manufacturing facility for on-road and off-road FCEVs.

An official strategy or roadmap is reportedly under development.

Currently, there is no dedicated legislation for hydrogen projects in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia has significant potential for renewable energy generation, especially solar power, and is also home to some of the world's largest oil reserves. The Saudi government has recognized the need to diversify its economy away from oil, and green hydrogen is seen as a promising option. In 2021, the Saudi government launched the Saudi Green Initiative, which includes plans to produce 50percent of the country's electricity from renewables by 2030, and to plant 10 billion trees in the country.

  • Saudi Arabia seeks to become a global supplier of hydrogen, primarily using hydrocarbons combined with the capture and storage of carbon emissions, as a key means to diversify its export profile away from crude oil in an increasingly carbon-constrained world.
  • The kingdom’s vast hydrocarbon resources, existing industrial capacities, and business expertise make it an attractive supplier candidate to those energy import–dependent economies that have begun to explore hydrogen imports.
  • Solar and wind resource wealth could turn Saudi Arabia into a major supplier of renewables-based hydrogen in the long run if the kingdom accelerates building out renewables capacity.
  • While hydrogen likely speaks to Saudi Arabia’s strength as an energy supplier, the development of a fuel cell vehicle market and, more importantly, fuel cell vehicle manufacturing capacity at home could help the country to meet some of the major Saudi Vision 2030 mandates, such as the development of new industrial sectors and diversification of its exports.

Saudi Arabia is working on developing a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure to support the growth of its hydrogen industry. Here are some of the key initiatives and developments:

  1. National Hydrogen Initiative: In March 2021, the Saudi Ministry of Energy launched the National Hydrogen Initiative, which aims to produce hydrogen for export and domestic consumption. The initiative includes plans to develop a regulatory framework for hydrogen, build production facilities, and establish international partnerships.
  2. NEOM Hydrogen Valley: As part of the NEOM project, Saudi Arabia is developing a hydrogen valley that will include green hydrogen production facilities, storage facilities, and distribution networks. The aim is to produce up to 650 tons of hydrogen per day by 2030.
  3. Hydrogen Fueling Stations: Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, is working on developing a network of hydrogen fueling stations across the country to support the deployment of fuel cell vehicles. The company is also working on developing hydrogen production and storage facilities to support the growth of the hydrogen economy.
  4. Joint Ventures: Several joint ventures have been established in Saudi Arabia to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure, including partnerships between Air Products and ACWA Power, SABIC and ExxonMobil, and Air Liquide and Tasnee.
  5. Research and Development: The Saudi government is investing in research and development to support the development of new technologies and processes for producing, storing, and transporting hydrogen. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a key research institution in the country, and it has established a hydrogen research center to support the development of the hydrogen industry.

Saudi Arabia is building the world’s largest green hydrogen-based ammonia production plant in the kingdom's planned futuristic city. The green hydrogen scheme (9) within Neom will use 4 GW of renewable power from solar, wind and storage to produce 600 tonnes per day of hydrogen. The project, set to come on stream in 2026, is expected to produce about 1.2 Mt of green ammonia per year. The other hydrogen projects that are currently being developed in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Neom Hydrogen: This is a joint venture between Air Products and ACWA Power, which aims to develop a $5 billion green hydrogen project in the NEOM region of Saudi Arabia. The project will have a capacity of 4 GW and will produce 650 tons of hydrogen per day.
  2. Saudi Aramco: The state-owned oil company is planning to develop a $10 billion hydrogen project that will produce 1.2 million tons of blue hydrogen per year. The project is expected to be completed by 2030.
  3. SABIC: The petrochemical company is collaborating with ExxonMobil to develop a pilot plant in Yanbu that will produce blue hydrogen from natural gas.
  4. Aqua Power: The company is planning to develop a green hydrogen project in the city of Jeddah, with a capacity of 10 MW.
  5. Air Liquide: The company has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia's National Industrialization Company (Tasnee) to build a hydrogen production plant in Jubail Industrial City.
  6. Marafiq: The utility company is partnering with Air Products to build a hydrogen production facility in the city of Jubail.
  7. Red Sea Development Company: The company is planning to build a green hydrogen plant in the Red Sea Project, with a capacity of 650 tons per day.

These are just some of the hydrogen projects that are being developed in Saudi Arabia, and there are likely to be many more in the coming years as the country seeks to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil.