The Edge

Renewable energy not yet a threat to oil and gas industry

Petronas says it sees renewable energy as a business opportunity

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 May, 2017, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 May, 2017, 1:21pm

By Ahmad Naqib Idris

While the renewable energy (RE) industry has made some great strides in recent years, oil and gas (O&G) players said the alternative energy segment is yet to pose a threat to the industry.

“Looking at our data, we don’t see a scenario where RE would displace or be a threat to our business within the next 20 years. But we do view it to be a business opportunity,” Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said during a panel discussion at the 19th Asia Oil and Gas Conference.

He said Petronas has some small solar power assets such as its plant in Gebeng, Pahang and has also commenced research on the installation of solar panels on the rooftop of the Suria KLCC Mall.

“However, I wouldn’t discount [the possibility], after we’ve done enough assessment and identified the opportunities, that we will take a serious look into this and make decisions for investments in other forms of RE,” he added.

ConocoPhillips chairman and CEO Ryan Lance concurred, adding that RE is still not sustainable currently, as subsidies are still required to make the usage of renewables feasible.

During his speech at the start of the event, Saudi Arabia Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid al-Falih said the global energy environment is in its early stages of a major transformation, considering the progress made with renewables and electric vehicles.

However, he said these alternative sources of energy are starting from a small base, with future growth likely to be slower than expected.

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