Green Lighting in Saudi Arabia Research Paper

In the recent years, the world seems to have unanimously agreed that energy saving lighting must be practiced. It has been perhaps informed by the challenges posed by all other forms of lighting.

However, not all nations have been keen on adopting energy saving lighting bulbs at the same pace as the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia is one of such nations. In this discussion, it would be important to get an insight into what energy saving lighting is all about.

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Energy saving lighting can simply be looked at as the provision of less energy consuming lighting technology. This means that the energy is produced in an economical way, has reduced effects on the environment and more importantly it is cost effective and affordable. As an oil exporter, Saudi Arabia can be said to have a fairly rich economic strata (Hill).

In this respect, matters of energy production and distribution in Saudi Arabia are more often discussed along with oil production line. While keeping on to this debate, this paper will look into the issue of green light bulbs and green light energy in respect to the steps that have been made in adopting energy saving bulbs, as well as the obstacles that might have been noticed and the lessons that might be learnt from this subject.

Saudi Arabia is a predominantly hot and dry country and thus cannot be said to produce enough hydro electric power to meet the countrys demand. For this reason, the little energy produced should be well utilized and saved where possible. This is one of the reasons why lighting methods and techniques need to be improved in Saudi Arabia (Said et al.).

In this study, it would also be important to get an insight into how much energy the country is producing and how much of the population is able to access lighting facilities so that appropriate data can be issued on how many bulbs are in the market and how many of them the country will need to reach a certain level of sustainability.

Energy Production in Saudi Arabia: Why the Are Important
Solar Energy
As we have noted, Saudi Arabia receives a considerable amount of sunshine throughout the year. For this reason, solar energy can be harnessed to add to the national grid. It is observed that this area has receive increased interest over the last two decades and studies have been conducted in order to improve the technology of tapping solar energy in Saudi Arabia (Alawaji).

This means that the methods of producing energy by tapping solar radiations have been improved, thus there has been an increase in energy consumption. This further explains why it is important for Saudi Arabia to adopt more advanced energy saving bulbs then the rest of the world.

Wind Energy
Although wind energy is not entirely dependable as a source of energy in many countries, wind is still used as source of energy to boost the national grid. Like in solar energy production, there has been an increase in studies that seeked to look into the best ways through which wind energy can be harnessed (Habali et al.).

To this end, there has been slight success. One of the discoveries that has come into the picture is that Saudi Arabia has two wind patterns that majorly cross the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea coastal areas. Wind energy may not be a very reliable source of energy but makes its contribution nonetheless.

Hybrid systems refer to the application of two or more sources of energy at the same time. This is a highly effective and efficient way of energy provision and has been greatly favored in many places around the world. Up to four sources of energy may be used simultaneously.

However, since it is expensive, it has not been largely used across many nations (Elhadidy & Shaahid). Nevertheless, in Saudi Arabia it has been utilized where solar energy was combined with oil energy.

Energy Distribution in Saudi Arabia
The continued demand for energy in Saudi Arabia can be greatly attributed to the fact that it is a developing country, thus, small and medium sized enterprises continue to flourish. Currently this demand is said to be growing at the rate of 5% per annum (Elhadidy & Shaahid).

Although this may not be seen as a large figure compared to other nations in the world, it is one that can be used to highlight that alternative sources of energy must be sought, and more importantly, action must be taken to maximize power usage as much as possible. Around the capitals and the industrial centers, about 80% has electricity connection whereas the majority of the rural regions are not powered (Said et al).

This means that despite the fact that there are many regions that do not have access to electricity, there is still a large number of regions that might make a good market for energy saving bulbs, and given their sustainability, there is a need to carry out an intensive advocacy for their usage.

The Energy Saving Bulb Market in Saudi Arabia: What are the Prospects?
Unlike many parts of the world where energy saving is a topic that is looked at with much seriousness, Saudi Arabia, has not adopted energy saving mechanisms fully. There is a large unexploited market for energy saving bulbs. The world has moved to mechanisms that largely seek to conserve energy, especially due to the non-renewable nature of many effective energy sources.

This has seen the advancement in technology in the electricity sector which involves energy saving bulbs that have now been adopted in many parts of the world. These bulbs are believed to save half as much energy as they consume, have become peoples favorite in most parts of the world particularly for driving electricity bills down (Said et al.).

As we have illustrated, the energy saving bulb market in Saudi Arabia would not be without a sufficient market. A sizable portion of the population has electricity power, especially in the cities. To tap this market, a number of things may need to be done.

Government and Private Sector Partnership
It has been demonstrated that government must not be left to handle every part of the economy as its hands are often too full to tackle every single facet. To encourage the use of energy saving bulbs and other gadgets in general, the government may partner with the private sector in a number of ways as detailed below.

Government Incentives
To begin with, the government may offer incentives to people who may wish to import these products. This may be done by waiving of some taxes. Naturally, governments cannot fully subsidize or compromise taxes. It is estimated that in countries where energy saving bulbs are widely used, they are sometimes sold for double the price of the other types of bulb.

However, for the sake of encouraging investors, the government can reduce the tax levied on these products to ensure that they are not highly priced once they reach the market such that the consumer would shy away from buying them.

This is the point at which most governments start undertaking any meaningful processes. To encourage the use of energy saving bulbs in the country, the government may formulate a policy that seeks to encourage usage of energy saving bulbs. This way, people may feel obliged to comply.

Since adoption of energy saving methods would be beneficial to the government and individual citizens, there is a need to emphasize the masses on the importance of saving energy through effective policies. On this note, people may be given some time to phase off the more energy consuming bulbs (Hill).

Public Awareness
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that a message is carried to people by educating the masses adequately about It, especially through the mass media (Spero & Hart).

In this regard, the government must conduct massive media advertisements highlighting the advantages of using the energy saving lighting equipment as opposed to any other lighting material. In doing this, the public would feel a part of the project and this would go a long way in boosting their faith in the new products.

Benefits of Energy Saving Bulbs
Energy production is perhaps one of the most expensive ventures that take up a good percentage of a nations revenue. It is estimated that about 75% of the urban centers all over the world invest their revenues in energy related projects most of which are not necessarily income generating (Elhadidy & Shaahid). In view of this any mechanism that reduces the cost of production would be a great relief and may add economic value to a nation.

have been widely accepted in the world today as one of the methods of reducing the electricity load. To some extent, it may not look like there would be much gain from changing a few bulbs in an individuals house but from a wider perspective, the collective energy saved may make a big difference.

This energy may be directed to other more demanding contributors of the economy like the industries. This then will be converted to faster production of goods that are of essence to the countrys market, one way or the other (Said et al.).

Saudi Arabia is largely an oil producing country and it is estimated that about 80% of its oil is consumed through transportation of oil products both, locally and across its borders (Said et al.). This is an indication that if the oil producing sector gets more power from that which has been saved in domestic use, there could probably be faster production and delivery of oil products.

This may translate into more revenues for the nation. Economic growth for a nation like Saudi Arabia cannot be undermined, especially for its oil deposits. In this case, any energy that would be channeled to the production of oil based productions may mean a relive to many parts of the world which trade with Saudi Arabia for oil deposits.

Another economic advantage attached to the energy saving bulbs is that by creating a market there would be creation of jobs. Any activity that tends to deal with a large number of people often has a trade advantage that comes with it. The large population that already has electricity connection may provide job opportunities to a number of people. Saudi Arabia is partly developed and developing country.

In other words, it cannot be rated among the countries that are economically challenged to the point of massive unemployment. However, unemployment is by far and large a universal challenge. Therefore, there would be creation of job opportunities for both, the importing and exporting nation.

In addition, importing the energy saving bulbs may offer the nations unemployed jobs. It is also notable that by undertaking such a project, most of them would be imported. This means that there would be bilateral trade which enhances relationships among countries.

One of the fundamental questions that this study seeks to understand is why there has not been a comprehensive and deliberate plan to phase out the existing set of bulbs despite their over emphasized disadvantage in comparison to the energy saving light bulbs.

Indisputably, there might not be direct answers to this question. However, we might attempt to look at some of the reasons that might be the continued reasons for lack of adoption of better bulbs, while they are in use in most parts of the world.

One may ask how dependence on oil could be a contributing factor to the continued use of more energy consuming bulbs. Being an oil rich county, the Saudis may not feel the pain of consuming high energy levels even when they have an opportunity of reducing this consumption.

Oil deposits in Saudi are among the worlds largest reservoirs and so there is almost no risk that electricity production would fail due to a reduction in oil productivity.

It will be noted that much of the electricity consumed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes from oil. In fact, statistics indicates that 65% of its electricity comes from oil, while 27% comes from natural gas and some 8% more from steam (Said et al.). For this reason, the Saudi people may not see reducing the cost of production as a reason to limit their consumption through energy saving bulbs.

There is almost nothing that can be achieved by a nation without the political good will. For our case, political goodwill would mean that there would be deliberate action taken and policies put in place to encourage this process.

It can be thus assumed that one of the factors that has contributed to the lack of mechanism to phase off the bulbs currently in use may be lack of political good will (Hill). Political goodwill in this case would go as far as to source for producing countries and encourage importers to bring in these products while ensuring that the market is ready and conducive.

As we have noted, Saudi Arabias economy is largely driven by oil. In this case, people engaging in other business activities may seem to be small scale traders regardless of the size of the enterprise.

This therefore means that phasing the current type of bulbs would throw some people out of business, hence the loss of livelihoods and the overall effect is a blow to the economy. Thus, the processes introducing energy saving bulbs may be slow or even not appropriately looked into.

The economic impact of any business venture is dependent on several other factors. For this project to have some level of success, there must be a change of mind set by the Saudi peopled. First, the Saudis may need to stop viewing oil as a renewable source of energy. In other words, it must be seen as a product that may get exhausted at some point and therefore there is a need to regulate the extent to which it is exploited.

This way, people may easily take the necessary steps towards saving even if it may seem not to have significant results. It must be made clear that it is the small step that would eventually yield results as far as energy saving is concerned.

The government must also enhance its relations with countries where these bulbs are manufactured. Nations will only do business to a considerable level of success if they are in good terms with one another.

Since Saudi Arabia is in need of goods and services of a technologically equipped nation like China, it may need to create an enabling environment as a way of attracting business people who may bring their knowhow to the nation. This would mean that Saudi may want to take up a focused campaign in an attempt to bring closer those who may be able to invest in this area.

for the Future
To ensure that Saudi Arabia goes into the future with more enhanced and more comprehensive energy saving strategies, it must undertake some important steps. First, the nation must adequately harness its solar energy to be used in all other productions as a subsidy to oil (Alawaji).

To this end, the government must invest prominently in solar energy production in view of the fact that it is one of the greatest endowments of Saudi Arabia. In this regard, the investment in which the Kingdom is said to have invested $100 billion dollars is a goal that must be pursued.

Upon its successful completion, it is expected to produce about 5 gigawatts (Said,).This project, which timeline states the year 2020 as the time it is expected to be rolling, is ambitious and well targeted. There is no doubt that it would be much awaited alternative to oil produced energy.

The government must also be keen on introducing a system energy information system aimed and being the custodian of data indicating energy demand and supply and, more importantly, it would look at the implementation of the energy saving polices that have been put in place.

This would further be enhanced by training personnel whose main role would be to look into the challenge facing the sectors such as building, heavy industry, and transport.

These observers would look into how energy saving polices are being applied in those heavy consumption sectors while making recommendations and changes where necessary. Finally, there must be intensive awareness of the population in regards to the importance of saving energy by all means possible, thus energy saving bulbs would be a good start.

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