KUWAIT: Kuwait is embarking a number of ambitious projects to expand use of alternative energy sources to meet the growing demand for electricity and secure sustainable development. The efforts exerted in this regard are spearheaded by Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) which has recently launched three projects for producing power from renewable energy sources.”The three power projects include a thermal station with a capacity of 50 MW, photovoltaic solar station with capacity of 10 MW and the wind power station with a capacity of 10 MW, Director of the renewable energy program at KISR,” Dr Salem Hajraf told KUNA yesterday. He added that the stations will feed the national electricity grid directly. “These projects or stations will help ease the pressure on the conventional power plants in the summer season,” he said.
Serious steps Due to the increasing demand for electricity and the high cost of its production, Kuwaiti government has taken serious steps towards making the best use of clean energy sources. “The Ministry of Electricity and Water and KISR have agreed on the establishment of a solar power station in Al-Shaqaya area with a total capacity of 70 MW per hour, to start operation by 2016,” Al-Hajraf unveiled. Moreover, the Ministry of Electricity and Water also launched this year an ambitious project to operate the ministry buildings with power produced by solar panels, he said. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science disclosed a project to use PV systems to generate electricity for 150 houses to be selected according to specific criteria in order to reduce loads on the electricity grid, preserve oil resources and reduce environmental impacts due to emissions of greenhouse gases.
Saving oil The Foundation noted that the project, expected to be complete in three years, will save approximately 7027 barrels of oil per year worth up to KD 221,000. “The use of alternative energy in Kuwait is important for three reasons; the growing demand for electricity, the high price of oil and the optimal environment for investing in alternative energy as Kuwait is abundant with brightly sun and wind,” said Dr Bader Al-Taweel, staff member of the College of Technological Studies and Chairman of the Renewable Energy at Kuwait Engineers Society. — KUNA