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Modelling industrial energy demand in Saudi Arabia

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Between 1986 and 2016, industrial energy consumption in Saudi Arabia increased by tenfold, making it one of the largest end-use sectors in the Kingdom. Despite its importance, there appear to be no published econometric studies on aggregate industrial energy demand in Saudi Arabia. We model aggregate industrial energy demand in Saudi Arabia using Harvey’s (1989) Structural Time Series Model, showing that it is both price and income inelastic, with estimated long-run elasticities of -0.34 and 0.60, respectively. The estimated underlying energy demand trend suggests improvements in energy efficiency starting from 2010.

Applying decomposition analysis to the estimated econometric equation highlights the prominent roles of the activity effect (the growth in industrial value added) and the structure effect (the shift towards energy-intensive production) in driving industrial energy demand growth. Moreover, the decomposition shows how exogenous factors such as energy efficiency helped mitigate some of that growth, delivering cumulative savings of 6.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) between 2010 and 2016.

Saudi Arabia implemented a broad energy price reform program in 2016, which raised electricity, fuel, and water prices for households and industry. The decomposition results reveal that, holding all else constant, higher industrial energy prices in 2016 reduced the sector’s energy consumption by 6.9%, a decrease of around 3.0 Mtoe. Saudi policymakers could therefore build on the current policy of energy price reform and energy efficiency standards to mitigate the rate of growth of industrial energy consumption, increase economic efficiency, and maintain industrial sector competitiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104554
JournalEnergy Economics
Volume85
Early online date2 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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