The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has a fast growing building sector driven by factors like burgeoning population, economic and infrastructure development and modernization. Buildings, owing to their energy intensive operation, are imposing significant energy, environmental and economic burdens for the country. To overcome these challenges and improve the sustainability levels in the building and energy sectors, it has been decided to develop 9500 MWs of renewable energy projects by 2023. Given the annual solar radiation level of over 2200 kWh/m2
, solar energy is expected to play the predominant role in achieving this target. Traditionally, KSA’s emphasis has been to pursue large-scale energy projects. Globally, however, small scale and building related projects have significantly contributed to the rapid growth of solar energy. Application of solar technologies in buildings is one of the important areas that has been ignored in the country. This paper explores the potential for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) in KSA’s residential sector. Taking into account appropriate PV design considerations and local building construction and cultural practices, it calculates the power generation potential for 13 major cities. It is found that a total of 51 TWh of electricity can be annually generated from these cities, accounting for 30% of the total domestic demand. Findings of a case study on application of the PV system on 248,452 m2
of rooftop area of the residential buildings in the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals undertaken with the help of ArcGIS 10.2 and PVsyst modeling have also been provided.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited