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On Sunday, May 22, Dr. Waleed Abu Al-Faraj, Vice President for the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K-A-CARE), and King Saud University Rector Abdullah Al-Othman celebrated Renewable Energy Day at an event which featured a large number of researchers and specialists in the field of energy.
At the opening ceremonies of the event, organized by the Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET) Program under the theme "Renewable Energy for a Better Tomorrow", Dr. Al-Othman emphasized the importance of establishing a strong alliance between the two institutions, stressing that Saudi universities serve as research centers for the Saudi energy city and its goals, and that KSU is developing strategic objectives to compliment K-A-CARE’s mission. Al-Othman affirmed that the most significant objectives for KSU are to make a significant and positive impact at the local and international levels and become a strategic authority in energy research, matching the impact of prestigious international universities, which bring invaluable benefits to their communities. The Rector praised the unlimited support of the Saudi government in this regard, noting that KSU endeavors to play a strategic role in improving the Kingdom’s well-being.
For his part, Dr Al-Faraj said that the way to a promising future starts with lofty ambition and insight beyond the present, which target far into the horizon. He stressed that “the important works and huge projects we are witnessing today are the result of to the future the strong foundations of reality and benefiting from the experiences of nations. Dr. Al-Faraj asserted that K-A-CARE has adopted such strategy and that K-A-CARE has been established to reflect the royal vision aiming at contributing to sustainable development and transforming the Kingdom from a country dependent on oil to one having an integrated system of energy where atomic and renewable energy can play a critical role. He also pointed out that the demand for energy is growing locally, expected to triple in 20 years to come, which would negatively affect exportation and satisfaction of the increasing global demand for oil and would exhaust petroleum and its derivatives earlier.
Consequently, this initiative, Dr Al-Faraj confirmed, aimed to maintain the Kingdom's leading position on the map of future global energy and enhance the solidity of the national economy. This requires, he added, the strengthening of the sustainable energy sector, being the goal of development, establishing and supporting a culture of innovation in society in general and educational institutions in particular as well as establishing real partnerships between the private sector and research and development institutions.
The Atomic City, headquartered in Riyadh, has also been tasked with drawing up a national policy for nuclear energy development, supervising the commercial use of nuclear power and managing radioactive waste.
K-A-CARE is directed by Dr. Hashim Abdullah Yamani, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley who has been an influential Saudi academic and government official over the course of his distinguished career.
SET is a King Saud University program devoted to the development of emerging sustainable energy technologies through distinguished research in alignment with the national economy strategies. Working with Saudi authorities for renewable and nuclear energy, SET provides academic Master and PhD programs in sustainable energy, conducts extensive research and strives to spread awareness of the benefits of green energy.