KAUST Research Conference 2020
Maturing Geothermal Energy for Saudi Arabia
January 27 - 29, 2020
Auditorium between buildings 4 and 5


The Middle East region has rapidly developing societies with some of the highest per capita power consumption in the world. However, to date there are few contributions from renewable energy sources. Yet, clean energy, water and new technologies are needed for a growing modern society to create jobs for a self-reliant economy and develop services and goods for export. Ambitious goals have been set by governments to tap into the exceptional potential for renewables the region offers. In this context, large solar and wind farm projects are planned and under execution. Whole cities are under development and planned to rely 100% on renewable energy: NEOM and the Red Sea Development. Outlined in the countries Vision 2030 and in balance with the environment, innovative, scalable exportable technologies must be developed to meet these challenges.

Our challenge: Can geothermal energy be matured economically to provide a substantial contribution to the future energy supply? Can life-sustaining water desalination and air-conditioning be run by geothermal power? Can geothermal help to lower our environmental footprint? Is geothermal power a sleeping giant amongst renewable power sources?

This conference provides a unique opportunity to unlock geothermal as a reliable renewable energy source for producing drinking water, district cooling and electricity to Saudi Arabia, the Arabian region, and other countries in similar arid climate conditions. We plan to evaluate geological resources and target technologies that are complementary to existing industries (hydrocarbon, drilling, subsurface development) and provide solutions integrated with other more established alternative energy sources – such as solar and wind. 

The 2020 King Abdullah University of Science and Technology's Research Conference: Maturing Geothermal Energy for Saudi Arabia will take place between January 27 – 29, 2020 at the beautiful KAUST campus on the shores of the Red Sea. Over the three-day conference, short sessions will set the scene: from regional energy needs to geological potential, from subsurface fluid flow to drilling, from surface energy conversion systems to regulations and economics. Plenty of time is assigned for discussions and break-out meetings. 

Tadeusz Patzek, Center Director & Professor, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering 

Volker Vahrenkamp, Professor, Earth Science and Engineering

The 2020 King Abdullah University of Science and Technology's Research Conference entitled Maturing Geothermal Energy for Saudi Arabia is sponsored by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) and coordinated by the KAUST Ali. I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC).