Solar Energy...
Promising Applications in Kuwait

 
 

For so long, many countries, have been seeking to develop low-cost energy resources; compatible with requirements of a clean and healthy environment. Solar energy is largely considered one of the renewable energy resources particularly in countries with abundance irradiance, such as Kuwait.

Research in this field in Kuwait started in 1978 by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). Since then, the cost of some renewable energy technologies, such as photovoltaics (PVs), dropped significantly and is currently competitive with conventional power generation technologies. For its part, KFAS recently joined these bids and focused its efforts on the social impact by initiating and commissioning a project for producing energy using PVs at Al-Zahraa and Al-Adayliya Cooperative Societies. One complete PV system was commissioned in 2015 in Al-Zaharaa while the other is currently being installed in Al-Adailiya and expected to be completed by June this year. The project aims at harnessing solar energy for producing electricity. Energy production from the PV systems at the two co-ops will be continuously measured. In addition, the project also aims at improving energy efficiency of lighting and air-conditioning by upgrading those systems at the two Coops..

The total installed capacity for the PV systems that were installed on the carport of the two Cooperative Societies is around 1 MW. The total cost for the project including the PV systems, the retrofitting of the lighting system, air-conditioning and project management is approximately two million KD. To ensure successful implementation of the project, the Foundation is cooperating with the Cooperative Societies Union, KISR, the Ministry of Electricity and Water and the National Technology Enterprises Company.

The expected energy savings from this project amounts to around 2150 MWhr per year; this could:

  • Meet the energy requirements of 26 houses throughout the year.

  • Save 1,320 barrels of oil per year.

  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by no less than 1950 tons per year.

By foreseeing the future, KFAS aspires to promote the deployment of renewable energy technologies on a larger scale to rationalize and save fuel used at power stations. Certainly, the project success at the two Cooperative Societies will open up horizons for officials to expand scope of harnessing the solar energy in other sectors and on a wider range.