Saudi Oil Minister Warns Against Moving Quickly to Alternative Energies

In a speech in Houston on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi expressed concern that too much emphasis on alternative energies would mean lack of funding for oil investments.

"Substituting the current energy infrastructure will be "prohibitive" in the short term and given the massive scale of the global energy system, a rapid change to alternative energy will be "costly and impractical," al-Naimi said yesterday at an energy summit in Houston organized by the Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

"While the push for alternatives is important, we must also be mindful that efforts to rapidly promote alternatives could have a chilling effect on investment in the oil sector," al-Naimi said in a speech on "Achieving Energy Stability in Uncertain Times" on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

"A nightmare scenario would be created if alternative energy supplies fail to meet overly optimistic expectations, while traditional energy suppliers scale back investment" he added."

Full Story: Saudi oil chief sees 'nightmare scenario' in alternative energy push

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Some other thoughts

So basically they need massive amounts of our money to invest further in finding and extracting more oil to keep supplies up and prices down...When should the "switch" occur if we do this? It sees if we utilize this logic we'll never get anywhere.

hmm

hmm

Saudi Oil Minister

Can someone please pass this man some tissues?

Self-Interest versus the Environment

It's an obvious point, but one worth reminding ourselves of time and again: oil interests will not sit by idly and allow one of the most lucrative businesses in human history to be threatened by a bunch of solar panels and plug-in hybrids.

It's an interesting question what will happen to these states whose economies are dependent on exporting oil if we can get oil demand to drop to virtually zero.

You've got a big sunny desert Saudi Arabia. If I were you I'd start putting some panels up . . . Diversify that economy at least a little bit :)

Saudi Arabia

I wonder if this is really more of a political speech to put the word out there that Saudi Arabia is worried about this while in private they will laughing all the way to the bank. The reality is that for the forseeable future, oil is going to be an important energy source. The other side of reality is that Saudi Arabia is the world's low-cost oil producer. Any dent put in oil demand by "alternative energy sources" is actually going to help them by eliminating some of their higher cost competition. So, unless oil demand drops to zero (which has only the remotest possibility of happening in the next 100 years) any "alternative energy sources" that reduce demand will actually make the world more dependent on their oil. I think they know this and are just saying the politcally correct things above to cover up the laughter coming from the other room. I hope I'm wrong.

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