The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K●A●CARE) has announced the implementation of a national project aimed at measuring and mapping renewable energy resources in the Kingdom.
The project will be carried out in cooperation with U.S.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Battelle Memorial Institute to evaluate the potential for solar, wind, geothermal, and waste-derived energy. The findings will be used to establish an online Renewable Resource Atlas that will form the basis for implementing future renewable energy projects, primarily for the production of electricity and water desalination. The Atlas will also support other functions such as research to develop technologies tailored to the unique climate in various regions of the Kingdom.
Atlas and RRMM Program Summary Brochure
“We are certain that the project will enable many parties from the private and government sectors as well as universities and research institutes to utilize renewable energy resources in the Kingdom for the production of power and clean water, and for other needs such as cooling. In addition, the information we will gain will be very important for the development of various projects taking advantage of renewable energy for generations to come,” Dr. Maher bin Abdullah Alodan, head of the Research, Development and Innovation Team at K●A●CARE.
As part of this new project, K●A●CARE is planning to establish approximately75 solar resource monitoring stations, which will be strategically positioned across the Kingdom in the coming year to monitor various types of climate information and identify areas of high potential for renewable energy development. The data collected will be incorporated into the Renewable Resource Atlas for use by interested stakeholders, such as project developers.
Collected data will be available in the online Renewable Resource Atlas for researchers and others to use, which will include, but not be limited to radiation, solar spectrum, temperature, dust levels, humidity, and wind speeds, as they pertain to energy project development.
Alodan added that the project is a crucial one, especially for long-term projects in the Kingdom, which entail identifying primary sources of energy.
“For example, we should know the characteristics of the solar resource that Allah has given us and how it can be adapted and utilized in large solar power station projects for the production of electricity. Undertaking such a project will require a comprehensive study that can only be carried out successfully if we know the specific geographic locations, and most importantly, the quality of solar radiation, and the factors that may affect the available resource such as wind, humidity, and dust,” he explained.
Among the major organizations expected to benefit from the project are universities, research institutes, project developers, project financers,and semi-governmental organizations.
The project will support a gradual replacement of conventional energy sources, such as oil, coal and other fossil fuels, with renewable energy resources, towards a target of renewable energy supplying 50% of the Kingdom’s energy needs by 2032.
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