Saudi Arabia potential for renewable energy

Speaking at a seminar organized by the Indian Engineers Forum (IEF), Jeddah Chapter, at Marriott Hotel, he said Saudi Arabia was taking measures to develop alternative sources of energy.

With an abundance of sunlight in the Kingdom, he said, Kingdom was capable of becoming the leading exporter of solar energy in the world as desired by the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi.

In his presentation of "Renewable Energy: A Saudi Perspective," Shafiqur Rehman highlighted the potential available in the Kingdom. He also identified seven places from where wind energy can be generated for commercial purposes.

Besides solar and wind power, he also spoke on other sources of energy such as geothermal, hydro (small and large scale), biomass and tidal.

IEF is a professional organization that provides platform to the highly technical manpower of Indians by conducting seminars and technical sessions. This year’s annual function was devoted to the theme of "Engineering A Green Tomorrow." Two scholars presented their papers.

Ramesh Tharwani, director of engineering and design at Emaar Company, King Abdullah Economic City, Rabigh, made a presentation on "Sustainable Development." He highlighted developments that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations. He emphasized on 10 imperatives of sustainable development, namely: Clean air, clean water, energy, land use, transportation, housing, jobs, health care, waste disposal, and human security.

Using car only for necessary journeys, increased use of public transport, walking, cycling, energy consciousness, recycling waste, being fit and healthy through a good diet and adequate exercise were some of his advices for sustainable development.

Abu Bakr and Ehab Ali of Energya Steel Solutions, the main sponsor of the event, gave a presentation on their company that offers multiple engineering services, covering design, supply, fabrication, galvanization, painting, site delivery and erection of structural steel.

Mohammad Sayeeduddin, president of IEF, welcoming the guests, said the purpose of this forum was to bring like-minded people together, work for their own development and at the same time "contribute to the development of the society here in Saudi Arabia as well as in India in terms of quality and quantity."

Sohail Khaleel, vice president of IEF, who anchored the event, also conducted an interactive session of networking and awarded four participants for networking activities.

A souvenir called "IEF Spectrum 2010" was released by the chief guest Shakeel Ahmed, consul education at Jeddah’s Consulate General of India.

By SHAHEEN NAZAR, Arab News 2010,

In Saudi Arabia, work on wind resource assessment dates back to 1986 when a wind atlas was developed by using wind speed data from 20 locations. This atlas presented the monthly mean wind speed contours and frequency distribution for all the months during the year. Rehman presented the energy output and economical analysis of 30 MW installed capacity wind farms at five coastal locations in terms of unadjusted energy, gross energy, renewable energy delivered, specific yield and wind farm capacity factor using wind turbines of 600, 1000 and 1500 kW. In another study, Rehman performed a detailed analysis of wind speed in terms of energy yield, effect of hub-height on energy yield, plant capacity factor, etc. for an industrial city situated on the northwest coast of Saudi Arabia.

The author found that the long-term wind speed at the site was 4.63 m/s which reached more than 5.0 m/s at 50m above ground level, the seasonal and diurnal trends followed the electricity demand pattern of the area and the wind was available above 3.5 m/s for 59% of the time during entire year at 10m above the ground surface. Rehman reported that the smaller wind machine have higher capacity factor than the larger ones.

Rehman and Aftab performed detailed wind data analysis for wind power potential assessment for coastal locations in Saudi Arabia. Rehman et al. computed the cost of energy generation at 20 locations in Saudi Arabia using net present value approach.

Mohandes et al. used the neural networks method for the prediction of daily mean values of wind speed and concluded that the performance of the neural network model was much better than the performance of the traditionally used auto-regression model. Rehman and Halawani presented the statistical characteristics of wind speed and its diurnal variation. The autocorrelation coefficients were found to match the actual diurnal variation of the hourly mean wind speed for most of the locations used in the study.