Why Solar Power ?
Greenhouse Gasses Emissions.
Fossil Fuels Variable Cost.
Fossil Fuels Diminishing Reserves.
Nowadays three huge challenges are facing our planet. A lot of countries are trying to face and solve them not only because those challenges will evolve to disasters in the very near future, but also because of many other factors such as political, economic, and social factors.
The first and the most important one is the greenhouse gasses emissions.
With the improvement of and the increased dependency on the technology nowadays, according to (BP Statistical Review of World Energy), the primary energy consumption worldwide is increasing due to the constant increase in the consumption of fossil fuels. Due to that increase, more carbon dioxide is being emitted to the earth. As carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gasses, the increase of the carbon emissions will add up to the greenhouse gasses concentration that more heat will be radiated to the earth causing global warming.
The second challenge which most of the countries are worried about those days is the variable cost of the fossil fuels.
As shown in (BP Statistical Review of World Energy), crude oil prices from 1990 till 2014 have increased variably. The problem with the oil price is that it’s related to the world’s economy, so the oil price is very difficult to predict. The crude oil price kept increasing from 2001 till 2008 then significantly decreased at 2009, after that it kept increasing again till it peaked at 2011 then started decreasing again till 2014 and then decreased again drastically 2015 to 2016.
The last challenge is the fossil fuel diminishing reserves.
The fossil fuel reserves are very difficult to calculate, because new ones are found every now and then and the accurate reserves in earth cannot be calculated as of course not all the reserves are yet discovered. If the discovered reserves started diminishing significantly and new ones has not been found as soon as possible another method of energy production should be created and used.
Due to those challenges, a sustainable power production alternative has to be found to stop them from harming the planet, the economy, and the society. So the usage of renewable energy technologies is the solution.
As solar energy is one of the most environmentally friendly, inexhaustible, clean, and silent sources of energy, it is being used nowadays as the fuel powering a lot of renewable energy technologies.
The electricity generation using solar energy is nowadays commonly achieved by photovoltaic (PV) panels. Even though the initial installation cost of a PV system is comparatively high and its conversion efficiency is relatively low, the power from the sun captured by earth is approximately 3,850,000 (E Joules) and is free. The energy captured from the sun, being thousands of times larger than the present power consumption rate, motivates installing and researching the PV panels’ technology across the world. In addition to that, in many countries, the government encourages installing PV systems in order to decrease the carbon emissions by providing subsidy for the installation of PV systems.
Saudi Arabian Renewable Energy Market
According to Hamed Alsaggaf, executive director of independent power projects and renewable energy at SEC, peak load demand in the kingdom is growing at 7 to 9% per year, and in 2016 soared by 10.2% to 62.5 GW. He said that the demand has tripled the
last 15 years and it may double in the next 15 years. This would, of course, result in very high consumption of fossil fuels, and affect the country’s economy, and environment negatively.
Saudi Arabia’s most valuable source is the fossil fuel. The country is blessed with huge amounts of fossil fuel reserves all around the kingdom. The fossil fuels should be reserved for export in order to evolve the nation’s balance of payment, but unfortunately it is used as the main source of power generation. So, another more sustainable method of power supply or generation should be used in order to maintain the country’s economy.
As shown in the figure at the left,
according to Solargis, Saudi Arabia is one of the top richest countries in terms of Solar irradiation. Using this sun radiation, environmentally friendly, cheap, quit, efficient, renewable, and sustainable power generation may be developed using PV panels technology (SASIA). At the
bottom of the page you may see a more Saudi focused radiation map.
The government of Saudi Arabia started its first step in supporting the renewable energy market’s growth and improvement by publishing the main power evolvement strategy in VISION 2030 launched by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The long term strategy mentioned in VISION 2030 is a plan saying that Saudi Arabia will install 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2030, and this goal has been
divided through the years from the present time till 2023 as the table on the right is showing (SASIA).
As Mr. Khalid Abdulaziz Al Falih, the
Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, participated in developing (REPDO), Renewable Energy Project Development Office, and assigned it responsible for the delivery of the (NREP), the National Renewable Energy program has now been seen as a strategic priority
for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This has created a very competitive renewable energy market.