• CERAWeek
  • March 18 - 22, 2024

Fahad Alajlan



Fahad Alajlan was appointed as the president of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in August 2021. Prior to joining KAPSARC, Fahad was the director of the Hydrocarbon Sustainability Program at the Ministry of Energy. He was responsible for looking at the long-term energy trends and their impact on energy markets including global demand for oil and gas. Additionally, he oversees the Circular Carbon Economy National Program, which aims to utilize a comprehensive framework to manage emissions while furthering the socio-economic development of the Kingdom. Fahad also worked at the Ministry of Economy and Planning in Saudi Arabia, advising on energy markets, policy, and trends, as well as the industry and petrochemical sector.Before that, he served for more than 15 years at Saudi Aramco, where he held senior positions working across operation, corporate strategy and investment planning, as well as mergers and acquisitions. He holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Stanford University in California. KAPSARC was founded as a non-profit institution for independent research into global energy economics and applied research in 2007. From its Riyadh base, in one of the world’s most vital energy-producing regions, KAPSARC develops economic frameworks to help achieve effective alignment between energy policy objectives and outcomes. It brings together an international group of researchers with over 200 experts from more than 15 different nationalities. KAPSARC’s experts collaborate with leading regional and international research centers, public policy organizations, and regional and local industry and government institutions to share knowledge, insights, and analytical frameworks.

Sessions With Fahad Alajlan

Wednesday, 8 March

  • 03:15pm - 03:55pm (CST) / 08/mar/2023 09:15 pm - 08/mar/2023 09:55 pm

    Can this Energy Transition Be a Revolution?

    Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
    Historically, energy transitions have been multi-faceted. Biomass is the energy source from which the world transitioned into coal. Yet even that initial transition is far from finished. Globally more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to clean cooking fuel. For these people, including much of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, the shift from biomass to LPG for cooking will be a 21st century energy transition that will reduce local air pollution, improve health and livelihood and spare women the hours spent gathering wood. Staggering growth in energy demand appears ahead, even with continuing improvement in energy efficiency. Energy transitions are not new. But this one is different because of that imperative to reduce emissions while at the same time enabling energy consumption to continue to grow. Other key differences are the speed and all-encompassing scale it implies—net-zero by 2050. In prior transitions, externalities such as the impact and cost of emissions were not considered. These differentiators make this transition—untested in the history of energy—more challenging than any previous energy transitions. This transition is driven more by policy and market interventions aimed at reducing emissions, than by market economics and technology. Previous energy transitions have unfolded over a century or more, not in a quarter of a century. Moreover, energy transitions have not reduced or replaced the existing energy base before the new energy base was ready; instead, they resulted from new sources being added atop the existing mix. In short, global energy systems cannot be rebuilt overnight. Capital stock, i.e., hardware has a lifespan of decades and cannot be changed as quickly as software. The target to achieve net zero by mid-century is extremely challenging as evidenced by the quick rebound in emissions in 2021-22 after the drop in 2020 due to COVID-19. What is the realistic pace of change for energy and emission transitions without leading to unintended consequences? Will consumers have to pay higher energy prices for the foreseeable future to reduce emissions? How should energy transition play out in emerging economies where emissions may continue to increase for some years before reversing the trend? How can the transition be just, orderly and “well managed”? What will this require?