The Renewable Resource Atlas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an online data portal developed by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) which contains the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on renewable energy resources.
This website is also one of the energy measurement projects launched by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy to support renewable energy projects for the production of electricity and water desalination, as well as to use them in research aspects to develop technologies and feasibility studies to find appropriate investment solutions by interested parties and stakeholders such as educational universities and research institutes. Among the major organizations that are expected to benefit from the project are universities, research institutes, project developers and sponsors, governmental and semi-governmental organizations.
The Atlas currently contains extensive information on solar resources, plus limited information on wind resources:
· The solar resource and associated meteorological data come primarily from a newly operational network of 46 ground-based monitoring stations around the Kingdom. Data for selected stations and time periods from a historical solar resource monitoring network operated by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) are also included.
· The Atlas contains wind resource data (at 100-m height) from 10 wind monitoring masts distributed around the Kingdom.
· The Atlas also contains modeled solar and wind resource information, based primarily on satellite datasets.
Additional datasets within the Atlas, such as roads and the electric grid in the kingdom, help provide context for the resource data.
For more information about the Atlas, please visit the link https://rratlas.kacare.gov.sa
Solar resource measurement stations
One of the key elements in the success of giant investment projects is the quality of the data on for the feasibility study of these projects. The importance of this data for the projects of solar power plants and solar water desalination projects and the fact that the available data on the sources of solar radiation is old and not comprehensive for all regions of the Kingdom, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy has established an integrated network of solar monitoring stations and wind measurements, and adopted in the establishment of the latest global technologies in solar monitoring field and adopted the highest global standards in the measurement and evaluation of these data and stations maintenance and operation. This integrated network is unique in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of the number of measurement stations and wide spread in all regions of the Kingdom, where the first station has been installed in 2013 and now it has been installed more than 47 stations to monitor renewable energy sources in the Kingdom. Two levels of solar energy monitoring stations were established, distributed according to the types and quantities of devices used for each level. This is to meet the requirements for data that accurately describes the spatial and temporal changes of solar resources.
Level 1 - Research Stations:
This level of measurement stations is the most complex and accurate, each station contains devices with multiple tracking and measurement systems to provide the highest level of data quality, in the range of +/- 2% (per hour). Therefore, the first level stations have a daily inspecting and cleaning, to provide the accuracy of the data required per minute (average data rate per hour and above to facilitate data readings on Atlas portal users). In addition, the first level stations conform to WMO specifications and standards.
Research and Development Stations (A): These stations contain an integrated set of instruments for measuring solar radiation and monitoring of redundant radioactive elements with independent data, in addition to basic meteorological instruments there are dust deposition device and average horizontal visibility.
Broadband spectrum monitoring stations (B)
These stations have special instruments for measuring and monitoring diffuse-range solar radiation to determine the ratio of mean radiation in solar spectra. It also has light gauges, an infrared spectrometer, as well as the basic meteorological instruments, dust deposition device and average horizontal visibility.
Horizontal radiation measurement station (C)
This station contains instruments for measuring and monitoring solar radiation with horizontal range (such as direct and total orthogonal radiation, diffuse horizontal radiation, total and orthogonal horizontal radiation, global slant rays), as well as basic instruments for meteorology.
List of level 1 instruments
Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) Secondary
Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI) Secondary
Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) Computed
Wind Speed/ irection @ 10m
(ground sites only)
Speed: P2546A and cable
Direction: 200P, cable, and weather boot
Level 2 - Medium rang stations:
These simple stations are based on total and perpendicular solar radiation (RSR). These stations contain basic solar energy resources monitoring devices and regulate surface meteorological data. Therefore, measuring of the radiation energy density on the shadow provides data of less than +/- 5% (per hour), these stations have a schedule basis for inspection and cleaning (twice weekly), to provide the necessary data per minute (average data rate per hour and above to facilitate data readings on Atlas portal users).
List of level 2 instruments
Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) Primary
Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI)