SAUDIS TO CLEAN H20 WITH SUN
Solar energy initiative launched
P.K. Abdul Ghafour, 25 January 2010 (Arab News)
"The King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) on Sunday launched a major national initiative to produce desalinated water and electricity at a much cheaper rate — less than a riyal for a cubic meter of water and 30 halalas per kilowatt/hour.
"Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhammad, vice president of KACST for research institutes, said the initiative would reduce the cost of water and electricity production by 40 percent. He said the first solar-powered desalination plant with a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters would be established in Al-Khafji to serve 100,000 people."
From John Georgiadis, University of Illinois, 2007. (click to enlarge)
"The project will reduce dependence on oil and gas to operate desalination plants. At present desalination plants on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf consume a total of 1.5 million barrels per day. The new nanotechnology for using solar energy to operate desalination plants was developed by KACST in association with IBM…
"Saudi Arabia supplies more than 18 percent of the world’s total desalinated water…Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi [recently said] the Kingdom aims to make solar energy a major contributor to power supply in the next 5-10 years…The oil minister also pointed out that King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, near Jeddah, would use its research facilities to develop solar energy to meet a significant portion of the Kingdom’s growing power needs. Electricity demand in the Kingdom is growing at the rate of seven percent annually."
click to enlarge
"The new initiative was carried out by the ministries of finance, water and electricity, and commerce and industry, and the Saline Water Conversion Corporation. There are lots of scope for Saudi Arabia to use solar energy because of the availability of strong sunlight throughout the year, estimated at 2,000 kilowatt for each square meter.
"In the second phase of the project, a desalination plant with a capacity of 300,000 cubic meters of water daily will be established…"