Release Date: 14-Oct-2012
The GCC countries, due to their arid climatic conditions, enjoy a great deal of sunlight throughout the year. The solar potential of the GCC countries is supposed to be one of the highest in the world. GCC is a rainless region which experiences clear skies for 80% of the year, thus, continuous solar radiation for a major part of the year. The solar radiation that the GCC region receives is enough to encourage the photovoltaic and concentrating solar power industries in the region. This gives two options of generating electricity through the solar energy, ample amounts of which are available and can be exploited thoroughly. As the region is moving towards renewable energy, solar power is being deemed as the top renewable source which will be exploited for power production. The results of the solar radiation studies have encouraged more and more investment in the sector.
The average solar radiation of the GCC countries is among the highest in the world. The region receives maximum solar energy from April to August before falling down. Even in the months preceding and succeeding these, the solar radiation is quite strong. In all, the GCC region receives considerable solar energy for eight months of a year, March through October.
Kuwait’s solar radiation is at the top peaking at above 8000 W hr/m2. Kuwait, thus, has the largest potential for solar power generation and considering the size and power consumption of the country it will be a boon for the nation. Kuwait’s domestic consumption and reliance on oil and gas for power consumption can significantly decrease with the development of solar energy in the country, given its huge solar potential. Its direct normal solar radiation is also the highest, making it highly potential for solar power generation.
Kuwait is followed by UAE which has the second highest solar radiation among the six countries. UAE gets an average of 7300 W hr/ m2 of solar radiation and peaks out at a little above 7500 W hr/ m2 during the summer month of May. UAE is a pioneer in solar energy development and is all set to capture the immense solar radiation to generate power from it.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranks at third position in the list of solar radiation among the GCC countries. It peaks at near 7200 W hr/m2 and for a larger part remains near 6500 to 7000 W hr/ m2. The potential of solar energy in Saudi Arabia is also quite encouraging and efforts are underway to realize this potential into electricity.
Bahrain, Qatar and Oman receive comparatively less solar radiation than the other three countries but nonetheless enough to exploit it into solar power production. These three countries receive direct normal solar radiation equal to the others with the exception of Qatar.
For more information visit “GCC Renewable Energy Sector Analysis”