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The Future of the Renewable energy of Saudi Arabia(Jeddah) - Dissertation Example

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Literature Review Solar energy From the studies of various scholars, it becomes evident that Saudi Arabia has the most suitable geography to utilize renewable energy sources like solar energy and wind energy. One such study comes from Ziyad Aljarboua. It is found by him that Saudi Arabia is one of the best solar regions on earth…
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The Future of the Renewable energy of Saudi Arabia(Jeddah)

Download file to see previous pages... This much energy can power the entire nation for 72 years. It becomes evident from the study that as the country lies very near to the equator, it is the best place to harvest solar energy (Aljarbou, 2009). In addition, it is seen that Jeddah has an average of 5.78 kWh/m2/day of insolation because of its higher solar intensity. This is because of the altitude of the place. So, in order to meet the entire energy needs of Jeddah, that is calculated to be around 50.915 GWh/day, the total area required will be 36.64 km2 which is about 1.22 % of the total land area of Jeddah (ibid). Aljarboua also looks into the financial aspects of installing Photovoltaic technologies. Here, the picture is negative. When the economic analysis is conducted using the national renewable energy laboratory guidelines, it is found that the saving to investment ratio (SIR) is very poor in Saudi Arabia as compared to other nations. While the SIR is less than 0.13 in Saudi Arabia, it is much better in other nations. The reason for this poor SIR is the low price of energy in Saudi Arabia due to the easy availability of oil resources. That means, if the solar energy technology is to become economically beneficial, either the cost of fossil fuels should go considerably upwards, or the installation costs of the photovoltaic solar energy technologies should come dramatically down. So, in his study, Aljarboua takes the other cheaper forms of harvesting solar energy. Some of them are solar water heating (SWH), and ventilation air preheating (SVP). From the study, it becomes evident that the last two forms of harvesting solar energy are more suitable for Saudi Arabia. While photovoltaic technology has an SIR of 0. 1175, that of SWH is 0.52 and of SVP is 7.78. In addition, the pay back years also vary considerably. If the PV technology requires 149 years, SWH and SVP require only 33.5 and 2.25 years respectively. In fact, the use of solar energy has been rising in Saudi Arabia since 1960. The King Abdulaziz University for Science and Technology’s Energy Research Institute has conducted many studies on the utilization of solar energy. Some practical use of solar energy mentioned in the study are ‘lighting, cooling, water heating, crop/fruit drying, water desalination, operation of irrigation pumps, running of meteorological stations, road and tunnel lighting, road signals and traffic lights’ (“Renewable energy feasibility study”). Despite all these developments, the practical use of solar energy has not made notable progress. There are various reasons associated with this failure. The first one, according to Said, I.M.Ei-Amin and A. M. Al-Shehri (n.d.), is that oil is easily available in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the oil is more effective as an energy source and it has a considerably lower cost in the nation. The second major issue is the dust effect that reduces the availability of the solar energy by 10-20%. The third most important reason is that while the government provides subsidies for oil and electricity generation, the same subsidy is not available for the use of any non-renewable energy source (ibid). Photovoltaic cells The term ‘photovoltaic’ indicates that electricity is made from light. The most widely used material to make photovoltaic cells is silicon. There are three different varieties of photovoltaic cells; monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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