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‘Worst case’ is Europe cutting renewable investment due to Ukraine war: Energy consultant

RIYADH: Europe turning its back on renewable energy investment as the fuel crisis bites is a “worst-case scenario”, according to energy consultant Pierre Samaties, partner at consultancy firm Roland Berger.

Speaking at a virtual conference during the MEA Energy Week, Samaties speculated that western countries could turn back to traditional forms of energy production in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The worst-case scenario is that Europe will go back to the use of coal and gas instead of developing renewables due to shortage or fuel prices going up, but I’m optimistic,” said Samaties.

He added that traditional energy still has its investment potential as it is needed until sufficient renewable sources are available,

“You need traditional technology until you reach a point where you have enough renewable resources. Traditional energy is still a place of investment. You need to still have conventional power,” said Samaties, adding that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are spearheading energy transition in the region.

“Saudi Arabia’s NEOM is having the biggest hydrogen project that is very promising. UAE is also heavily exploring hydrogen export opportunities,” added Samaties.

During his speech, he noted budgets for energy transition is a very tough issue.

According to Samaties, policymakers should first think about the available power options and should go ahead by accelerating investments in renewable sources.

Talking about the vitality of investing in technology in the sector he said: “Technologies to invest in include advancing storage technology, achieving a renaissance of nuclear power, and decarbonization storage.”

He further noted that the energy sector can move much faster than the initial forecast. Samaties also added that the usage of solar energy on glass technology will contribute a lot to the energy transition.

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