With the conventional and non renewable sources of energy such as crude oil, natural gas, furnace oil, diesel, coal as well as wood becoming expensive both financially and environmentally especially to the rural areas together with their continued depletion. Therefore, due to the gradual depletion of natural gas and crude oil, power costs have thus kept on steadily rising (Yaghboubi, 1991. Hence, most of the countries around the world Saudi Arabia included have opted to look for viable renewable energy alternatives such as wind and solar energy as it is evident in our project whose aim is to initiate the use of renewable energy in one of the Saudi Arabia remote areas (Markvart, 1994). However, the feasibility of this project is mainly because it is exploiting ‘renewable’ energy sources that are never depleted since they are consistently replenished by nature such as solar and wind. Apart from being renewable sources of energy they can also be referred to as clean energy sources because their consumption and usage does not result to pollution through carbon emission (Rehman, 2004).
Moreover, the other reason as to why this project is feasible is mainly because the nation of Saudi Arabia is very vast and most of its regions are usually sparsely populated. Therefore, despite of its expansive area most of the region is a hot desert causing people to live in isolated villages, settlements with the burning desert lying between these settlements (Rehma and Halawani, 1994). Hence, since most of the required power is usually generated through thermal power plants and diesel engines the transmission of the generated power to the remote regions and settlements becomes uneconomical mainly because of the power wastage during transmission. Therefore, these isolated villages also require power supply but even supplying them with adequate diesel fuel for their generators usage is also deemed expensive. Therefore, considering all these factors the usage of renewable energy sources is apparently the most suitable option for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Rehman, 2004).
Twidel and Weir (1986) suggests that solar and wind renewable energy sources are the most crucial. Therefore, this will project will undoubtedly be successful because Saudi Arabia being a desert these two resources are abundantly present throughout the year. For instance, the nation usually receives sufficiently enough amount of sunlight of about 2200 thermal kilowatt-hours – kWh per square meter (Ranjendra and Natarajanb, 2006). Therefore, this amount of sunlight is sufficiently adequate for economical generation of solar energy. This is mainly because the average temperature during summer in day 44, in the night 25 while the winter average temperature in day is 20, in the night 4 which convenient for solar energy generation. In addition, Saudi Arabia also receives sufficient wind power, especially the large tracts of land found along the Arabian Gulf region and the Red sea coast (Sami and Carol, 2005). The speed of the wind is estimated to be within the range of 14 to 22 kilometres per hour. Therefore, this speed of wind is sufficient for the operation of the wind turbines. Hence, this makes the project feasible and justified since Considering the arguments, it is therefore justified that adoption of these renewable energy sources would be of great importance to the remote areas in Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, the evaluation of the project calculations that involved 500 housing units each of the house containing of 3 or 4 bedrooms with other services such as bath and kitchen, and so on within a village area of 50000 m2 comprising of a population of 3000 people seemed to be very economical in comparison with normal consumption of the diesel generated electricity (Rehman, 2004). Therefore, this project would ensure that these remote areas have been provided with affordable energy that has been economically generated. Hence, the feasibility of this project is mainly because the renewable resources used are locally available thereby making the project more economical (Rehma, Halawani and Husain, 1994).
Therefore, after reviewing of several case studies and doing extensive literature review it is apparent to conclude that solar energy and wind power can be effectively used for providing electricity to remote areas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is mainly because it was evident that the region usually has optimum sunlight of high flux thereby making the generation of solar energy very much feasible (Allard and Alvarez, 2002). Also wind power was found to be feasible but only in certain coastal areas that recorded sufficient wind speed. However, two methods of solar energy generation would be used depending on the power demanded, for instance, solar PV method is relatively cheap but less output while concentrated solar power method would be used for higher production. Therefore, considering all the aspects of solar and wind electricity generation it is recommendable that an hybrid system be adopted whereby they would be combined with diesel generator set up (Lasnier and Ang, 1990). In this way, renewable energy will be used to supply part of the power demand thereby helping in the reduction of production costs and emissions (Markvart, 1994).
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