PARIS Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said on Thursday the kingdom envisaged the fact that fossil fuels could become unnecessary before the middle of the century and was investing in renewable energy for that reason.
"In Saudi Arabia, we recognize that eventually, one of these days, we are not going to need fossil fuels, I don't know when, in 2040, 2050... so we have embarked on a program to develop solar energy," he told the Business and Climate conference in Paris.
"Hopefully, one of these days, instead of exporting fossil fuels, we will be exporting gigawatts, electric ones. Does that sound good?" he asked, to applause in the audience.
He added that he still expected fossil fuels to dominate the world's energy mix in the near future.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by John Irish)