The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has a large solar and wind energy resource. Through its Vision 2030 to exploit such resources, KSA is planning to install 9.5 GW of renewable energy power generation systems by 2030, through a mix of solar and wind energy. The government is planning to invest 109 billion US$ over the next 20 years for solar energy. The focus will be on solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar technologies at a national level. So far, the electricity demand in KSA is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels for generating power. This paper addresses the potential to utilize the solar radiation resource at a different scale and reduce the power demand from the grid, bringing collateral benefits for householders and the government alike. The work presents the results from monitoring the electricity consumption of two typical domestic buildings (villas) in Jeddah, KSA. The electricity consumption observations were associated with indoor environmental conditions to study how and when cooling demand affects final demand. The study investigated options to serve the observed demand profile of the villas with simulated power generation from arrays of PV panels installed on two buildings’ roofs. Finally, a model of dynamic solar radiation simulation was developed to assess the hourly electricity generation, and a cost-benefit analysis was conducted for different capacity PV systems scenarios. The results indicate that locally used rooftop PV output could reduce the household electrical demand from the grid by around 80% at the housing level and in combination with building refurbishment solutions, could result in additional energy savings. The economic analysis discusses the implications of a proposed feed-in tariff with the associated payback periods and ROI, as well as proposals for PV system deployment at a large scale on the roof of buildings in KSA.
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