National Renewable Energy Plan for Ksa

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  • Topic: Renewable energy, Wind power, Alternative energy
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Proposal for National Renewable Energy Plan for Saudi Arabia

Abdullah M. Al-Shehri ECRA

Plan of presentation

Benefits and potential of renewables
Proposal for incentivizing renewables Institutional responsibilities Next steps

Conventional focus has been on solar and wind development in Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia has approximately 2,200 thermal kWh of solar radiation (sunshine) per square meter, twice the average radiation in Europe Average wind energy density

 In particular substantial solar-thermal potential, using mirrors to reflect sunlight for heating fluids and generating steam, which is then piped to run the generator  Two major joint solar energy projects in Saudi Arabia, SOLERAS and HYSOLAR, in partnership with the US and Germany respectively  Two windy regions exist in Saudi Arabia along the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea coastal areas (Yanbu windiest region)  The mean annual wind energy density lies between 250 and 500 kWh/m2 on the Red Sea coastal sites and drops to about 50 kWh/m2 in inland areas

Al-Wajh 481 kWh/m2 Yanbu 819 kWh/m2 Jeddah 471 kWh/m2 Gizan 495 kWh/m2 Source: ‘Prospects of Wind Farm Development in Saudi Arabia’ – King Fahd University of Petroleum & Natural Resources, November 2003

Dhahran 676 kWh/m2



Industrial and agricultural processes can also create some renewable potential  Waste to Energy - Waste heat from industrial processes (e.g. steel mills, petrochemical processing, pulp and paper mills) can be recovered to provide energy for generation Landfill gas – biodegradable waste in municipal landfills can be decomposed to produce methane, and then used as fuel for power generation Municipal solid waste – incinerators can burn solid waste from municipal landfills to generate heat and electricity; there are about 431 Waste to Energy plants in Europe and 89 in the US Biomass - agricultural waste (e.g. grains, weed, sawdust, etc.) and animal waste could be used as feedstock for boilers/heated steam can be used to generate electricity Waste combustion and slag management Hot flue gases produced and rise to boiler Water circulated in the boiler (400C) Converted into high-pressure steam (40 bars)

Saudi Arabia’s agricultural produce may offer a potential for biomass energy:  Saudi Arabia produces, in order of importance, wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, and citrus fruits; the main livestock are mutton and chickens  Various crop/vegetable production (2.5 million tons in 2004) and animal waste could be used as feedstock to generate electricity  However wheat production gradually being reduced, requiring reliance on other sources for biomass

Fed to turbines and drives electricity generator

In a condenser, heat transformed into water Draft

Residual steam in the form of heat


Key messages
 Saudi Arabia has significant renewable energy potential, and not only in solar and wind energy  There are four main approaches to incentivizing renewable energy: Feed in tariffs set a standard price per kWh for qualifying renewables; they are effective at guaranteeing a revenue stream to generators, but if not set at the right price can distort incentives Central procurement involves an agency providing renewable energy contracts through competitive bidding; such an agency must be strong, but the process can lead to greater control over capacity and timing Quota systems determine the quantity of renewable energy to be procured, and allow the market to set the price; they are effective if a trading infrastructure is in place Financial incentives and support mechanisms make use of existing systems and are administratively easy, but are often insufficient




 In Saudi Arabia, feed in tariffs and central procurement are most relevant Draft


Various alternatives are deployed worldwide to promote renewable energy  At least 64 countries have renewable energy support policies  Support policies were...
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