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Energy & Building Sciences
Saudi Arabia Emphasizes Insulation Investment
In the blazing desert climate of Saudi Arabia, spray foam insulation and other technologies are key to keeping structures cool

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABI - February 23, 2011 - It may seem to be a strange concern for the nation with the world's largest proven oil reserves, but Saudi Arabia is worried about energy consumption.

Of course, the organization WikiLeaks recently revealed that the former head of exploration at the national petroleum monopoly Aramco told U.S. diplomats that the nation's recoverable oil reserves may have been overstated by up to 30 billion barrels, or 40 percent.

In planning for a future without the financial backstop of massive oil income, Saudi Arabia will have to shift gears towards more sustainable building. In order to do so, Reuters reports, it will have to focus on improving its insulation deployment and technologies.

"Insulation in homes is expected to lower energy consumption by 40 percent," Saudi water and power minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen told the wire service. "Now it will be mandatory and we are working on implementing it."

In the blazing desert climate of Saudi Arabia, spray foam insulation and other technologies are key to keeping structures cool without wasting vast quantities of electricity on air-conditioning.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring United Arab Emirates, construction on the green "arcology" city of Masdar - designed to be a completely carbon-neutral structure located in the desert near Abu Dhabi - continues apace.

The Persian Gulf may hold the world's largest store of fossil fuels, but the nations that rely on it seem increasingly concerned with the future of green, sustainable development.

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