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A Vision to Decarbonize Mobility at The Red Sea Project

By Faisal Butt, Senior Project Delivery Director at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC)

Sustainable development is a matter of making choices and decisions that satisfy all relevant social, economic, and environmental concerns. Many countries today are embracing green mobility plans, yet do not have a steady stream of sustainable, renewable energy to power their mobility solutions. But, here on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) is committed to going beyond the current understanding of what it means to be sustainable in order to actively enhance its flagship tourism destination, recently announcing that the project will be powered with 100 percent renewable energy, 24 hours a day via solar and wind power. 

The developer is also investigating a variety of other solutions with the aim of minimizing the carbon footprint of the destination, and even intends to become carbon negative – removing more carbon from the atmosphere than is produced. Therefore, the desire to use electric and hydrogen vehicles at the destination is a natural next step on the sustainability journey. 
However, finding the right sustainable vehicles, especially for air and marine travel, and providing an integrated solution is no easy task.  The objective to identify commercially viable clean technologies which are resilient and match the luxury aspiration of the destination is a challenge. 

The company recently awarded a contract for sustainable transport consultancy, to Mott McDonald, to deliver a comprehensive analysis of the land, sea and air transport needs for the development and operation, as well as to identify the most appropriate supporting infrastructure. Mott McDonald is supported by specialists including Energetics (www.energetics.com) and BMT (www.bmt.org).

When developing the mobility strategy there is a great deal to consider: identifying how many vehicles are needed, looking at the sustainable options available in the market today and how many of these options are realistic, safe, reliable, and provide a comfortable experience for our guest. Beyond these aspects, there is also research needed to look at the latest innovations and new technologies that might be available in the near future. 

Another key element that falls within the green mobility plan is to identify the infrastructure network to support clean mobility. The destination will require locations for charging electric vehicles for example, so part of the strategy will outline these requirements and an implementation plan for site wide network. The infrastructure needed might be an individual charging point at one of our hotels or villas or a central charging location at the airport.

And these vehicles will not just be cars; We still have micro mobility including electric bicycles and scooters, as well as electric boats and even short haul aircrafts. This is an important aspect of the next stage of our development to ensure we have the best in class fleet to provide ease of movement and comfortable guest travel, while staying true to our sustainability goals.