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Title: Investigation into using Stand-Alone Building Integrated Photovoltaic System (SABIPV) as a fundamental solution for Saudi rural areas and studying the expected impacts
Author: Albaz, Abdulkarim
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 0347
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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A number of natural resources can be exploited for providing energy, such as the sun, wind, water flow, tides, waves and deep heat generated within the earth. Recently, renewable resources especially that extracted from solar have been significantly encouraged mainly for environmental worries, such as climate change mitigation and global warming, coupled with high oil cost and security and economic matters. The crucial need of energy in human development has also been another important drive pushing the rapid progresses in renewable technologies, which results in both large-scale strategic projects for covering wide urban and rural areas and simple systems suitable for individual buildings. Solar energy has become a widely desired option, especially in high solar radiation areas. The Middle East, especially Gulf region is an ideal geographical area for solar power where it has one of the highest solar irradiation rates across the world. The population in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is significantly small compared to the geographical areas and populations are distributed mostly throughout huge areas forming small villages and rural communities on substantial distances from the main power networks. In Saudi Arabia, there is a crisis in supplying enough electricity to the large cities and domestic remote area in various parts in the country and a wide range of remote areas still suffer from a severe shortage of power supply. In this project, the opportunity of using small-scale solar energy technologies, such as Stand-Alone Building-Integrated PV (SABIPV) systems has been investigated as an optimal solution for providing solar energy to a great deal of off-grid areas in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the expected short and long-term impacts of such solution have been studied. The study showed that the main reasons behind the crisis in supplying electricity to domestic remote and rural off-grid areas in Saudi Arabia are the weakness of the financial returns compared to the cost of providing the service, the difficulty of the natural topography of areas, high cost of maintenance works, and the regulations of providing electric services in Saudi Arabia. This is in addition to the expected environmental impacts, such as raising the pollution rates in the area and the safety influences of extending the high voltage lines over huge areas. On the other hand, the lack of the necessary infrastructure services, particularly electricity and the looking forward for better level of prosperity lead people who live in countryside and remote areas usually to immigrate to in-grid areas which has several short and long-term negative impacts on economic, social and security sides. This study shows that SABIPV system is a cost-Impactive, powerful, and fundamental solution for all off-grid areas in Saudi Arabia including remote villages and rural communities and providing the same level of electricity services that can be achieved in urban on-grid areas. The system is expected to have positive impacts including reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the expansion of agricultural land and reduce desertification, reducing the influence of high-voltage electrical lines on living organisms, providing adequate electricity service at lower cost, offering more job opportunities for people in remote areas, increasing agricultural and handicraft products, developing the tourism sector in rural areas, reducing the rate of migration from rural areas to the cities, and reducing the slum areas in cities which helps to reduce the rate of crimes, ignorance, the low level of morality, and health and environmental problem.
Supervisor: Darwish, M. ; Zobaa, A. Sponsor: Saudi Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Solar & renewable energy ; BIPV systems ; GCC countries and solar energy ; Solar energy in Saudi Arabia ; PV cell & concentrated solar power