While the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been outspoken about their shift to renewable energy to shore up for when oil supplies start to wane, Kuwait has largely remained in the shadows. Kuwait has the best solar irradiation along the Arabian Peninsula, which means they are well poised to bring solar energy on board.
Albeit the third largest OPEC oil producer, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the country could face its first deficit as soon as 2017; which may explain why they have suddenly stepped up their game.
In January, the Kuwait Institute for Science Research (KISR) published its first renewable energy plan for 2030, according to CSP Today. In it they outline their goals for the next couple of decades.
By 2015, hope to cover at least one percent of their domestic energy requirement with renewable energy, 10 percent by 2020 and 15% by 2030.
Albeit trailing the United Arab Emirates, which has recently opened the world’s largest CSP plant – Shams1 – several plans are underway, including a hybrid plant similar to Kuraymat in Egypt, and a 70MW renewable energy complex.
Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation completed a feasibility study for the Al Abdaliya Solar Plant in 2012. Once complete, the 60 MW parabolic trough solar collector in the Al Abdaliya Desert will be part of a 280 MW Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) system that incorporates a gas turbine.
Joint partners Partnership Technical Bureau (PTB) and Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) have announced that they will begin the process this year of seeking project developers to construct the $720 million plant.
Another 50MW parabolic trough plant will be constructed as part of the 70MW Shagaya Renewable Energy Complex in the north, near Iraq, where weather conditions are thought to be more conducive to such a setup.
“The project has been split into three parts: 10 MW wind energy, 10 MW PV, and 50 MW thermal, equipped with 10-hour energy storage that will let the plant work even after sunset. This is the mix that we hope will perform better under our harsh climatic conditions in the Kuwaiti desert,” Dr. Salem Al Hajraf, KISR’s renewable energy program manager, told CSP Today.
Two German companies have been appointed as consultants for the project. Lahmeyer will act as the main consultant while Fichtner will provide financial assistance.
Since Kuwait is new to the renewables game, they face a steep learning curve, but they’ve got all hands on deck. In addition to inviting more experienced foreign consultants to oversee the transition to a greener economy, skills development is also necessary.
Check out CSP Today for the full analysis.
Image via KISR