Solar Power Economic Benefits in Saudi Arabia


The remote territories in Saudi Arabia are desert lands. The residents living in these regions have no access to energy sources. Although Saudi Arabia is an actively developing country, these residents are often considered as living at the edge of the world. Being often deprived of such benefits of civilization as electricity, these people need the other energy sources. In this case, the use of solar energy is discussed as the only effective method to solve the problem.

In spite of the fact that electricity is a benefit of civilization, today the need of the power can be discussed as one of people’s basic needs along with water and shelter. While finding the alternative solutions for the remote territories in Saudi Arabia, it is important to concentrate on the idea of solar power.

That is why, the topic of using solar power is rather interesting and significant to be discussed in detail. Studying the researches on the use of solar panels, it is possible to become interested in the topic and find the variety of methods to utilize in Saudi Arabia. The rationale for the research is associated with the necessity to discuss advantages and disadvantages of using solar power in the region. While the idea is attractive, the costs of the project can become a major obstacle in its implementation.

The overall economic prognosis for promoting the use of solar power is quite positive for Saudi Arabia, but there are many obstacles. Thus, the purpose of this research is to analyze the aspects of transferring to the use of solar power and to state the solutions for making the project less expensive. Although the focus on solar energy can improve the general economic potential of Saudi Arabia, it is necessary to explore the existing opportunities for realizing the project effectively while addressing difficulties related to the alterations in the current energy usage and financial sphere and the environmental issue.

Literature Review

The opportunities for using solar energy as an alternative to the active use of oil are discussed in Saudi Arabia during two decades. Many researches discuss solar power as the main renewable source of energy to be used in Saudi Arabia since 2004 (Benghanem, 2010, p. 1427). Following meteorological and physical tests conducted since 1996, it is possible to note that the solar activity in the region increases (El-Sebaii, Al-Hazmi, Al-Ghamdi, & Yaghmour, 2010, p. 568). As a result, the active use of solar energy can lead to conserving the oil resources.

However, some researchers do not agree that the use of solar power is a good idea because of the issue of negative radiation. The solar radiation increases, and the use of solar panels can affect this process (Nicholson, 2012, p. 24). Furthermore, although there is the great potential for the use of solar energy, the consequences of utilizing the renewable energy are not predicted (Ramadi, 2010, p. 44). Saudi Arabia is also discussed as the country with the great nuclear potential to be used instead of solar energy (Ahmad & Ramana, 2014, p. 2).

On the one hand, the focus on solar energy can contribute to improving the economy in Saudi Arabia. The reason is in the opportunity to utilize the renewable solar power in the remote regions. Yet, the alternations in the energy system are too expensive (Hepbasli & Alsuhaibani, 2011, p. 5021). Furthermore, the utilization of solar energy is the challenge to the economy and environment. However, the solar power is the most renewable energy source, and the project has the great potential benefits (Janin & Besheer, 2003, p. 21). Thus, the issue is rather controversial.

The researchers predict that the significant financial resources will be required to rearrange the current energy supply system used in Saudi Arabia. The solar power can become the way to overcome the energy crisis, or it can become even more costly (Vincent, 2008, p. 83). Furthermore, the use of the renewable energy can provoke the environmental problem associated with the negative radiation and greenhouse problem. Problems with the residents’ health can also be observed (Flournoy, 2011, p. 12; Gevorkian, 2012, p. 6).

The Economic Potential of Using Solar Energy in Saudi Arabia

Referring to the collected data, it is important to note that the economy of Saudi Arabia can gain a lot of benefits from promoting the utilization of solar energy in the remote regions. Saudi Arabia can use the potential related to the high annual solar radiation observed in the region which is 2200 kWh/m2 (Hepbasli & Alsuhaibani, 2011, p. 5021).

Furthermore, the economy can be improved because the overall use of energy resources will decrease as the solar power is directly converted into the usable energy. The systems used to receive and store solar energy are more profitable in relation to the economic factors because the amount of energy increases when the storage costs decrease (Flournoy, 2011, p. 22). In addition, the development of the solar energy sector can result in attracting more investment and capitals into the industry.

The collected facts support the idea that it is important for Saudi Arabia to refer to alternative energy solutions because of the necessity to preserve the oil resources. Although the main focus is on using the oil resources as the major source of power in Saudi Arabia, today more attention is paid to exploiting solar power (Renewable energy in Saudi Arabia, 2012).

According to the statistical data, solar-powered plants operated in the region demonstrate the increase in the efficiency in 18% (Saudi Arabia: The world factbook, 2014). Solar power is the most advantageous renewable energy source because solar energy can be converted into electricity without using more resources. That is why, researchers state that solar power is the main source of energy which can contribute to growing the economy of Saudi Arabia in the future.

The data collected with the help of the qualitative survey research support the idea that alternations in the energy system of Saudi Arabia can lead to significant positive changes in the country’s economy. Following the experts’ opinions, it is important to note that solar power is the potential source of energy for the future because of its efficiency and availability.

The relatively easy method of exploitation is mentioned by many respondents. In addition, the survey demonstrates that researchers work significantly to analyze different types of solar systems in Saudi Arabia. The most effective methods are expected to be used at plants and in the remote regions of Saudi Arabia. The respondents in the survey agree that the research in the field of the renewable energy is the investment into the further economic progress. The reason is in the potential of using the available and eco-friendly solar resources. Thus, the key to the energy revolution in Saudi Arabia is the focus on the renewable solar power.

Financial Issues Associated with Utilizing Solar Energy

To discuss the financial issues connected with the realization of the complex project developed to use the solar power in Saudi Arabia, it is important to focus on such types of the collected data as the researchers’ prognosis, economists’ balances and predictions, experts’ opinions, financial analyses, and statistical data.

According to the conducted researches, the development and implementation of solar systems depends on the increased investment in the sphere (Vincent, 2008, p. 84). Today, the governors and foreign investors are ready to invest into the development of the solar systems in the country because the energy is freely available. Furthermore, the significant investments are expected to be covered with significant profits (Benghanem, 2010, p. 1427). The main costs are associated with the construction of specific plants and solar systems to receive and store the energy.

The construction and utilization of solar systems which are effective to be used in Saudi Arabia can be discussed as rather expensive projects. To realize the project, it is necessary to build efficient solar photovoltaic or PV systems in the remote regions of Saudi Arabia. As a result, the main difficulties associated with the financial question can be resolved with the help of attracting more foreign capital into the region.

Thus, the active use of solar energy is the new stage in the energetic industry, and many Arab countries are ready to investigate the field along with the researchers and scientists from Saudi Arabia. Referring to financial analyses and statistical data, it is possible to state that the effective solution to overcome the financial barrier is to focus on international cooperation in the field of researching and utilizing the renewable energy sources (Renewable energy in Saudi Arabia, 2012; Saudi Arabia: The world factbook, 2014).

Discussing the data collected with the help of the qualitative survey, it is significant to pay attention to the fact that financial barriers are the main ones to implement solar systems in Saudi Arabia. The experts note that the key to solve the problem is in the activities of the governors and businessmen. The focus on the renewable energy is expected to be the beneficial project.

That is why, it is necessary to accentuate the positive sides of the project and guarantee the additional funding related to reconstruction of the energy system. The respondents note that the redistribution of assets to support the solar energy system is important to preserve the oil industry in the region. The construction of the new system is necessary to address the energy demand in the region. Thus, the financial barrier should be resolved with redistributing financial resources to support the industry and the country’s economy.

The next important problem to address while constructing the solar systems in the remote regions of Saudi Arabia is the environmental question. Referring to this point, the research is focused on discussing such environmental issues as the effects of the negative solar radiation on the flora and the effects of the negative solar radiation on the residents’ health. From this perspective, the researchers are inclined to note that stored solar energy influences the environment not always positively.

Solar collectors and solar systems work to store the solar energy, but its accumulation can lead to increased levels of negative radiation (Hepbasli & Alsuhaibani, 2011, p. 5021). Furthermore, this radiation can be negative for the health of residents because the levels of the solar radiation at these desert territories are traditionally higher than in the urban regions (El-Sebaii et al., 2010, p. 568; Ramadi, 2010, p. 44). The data on the role of solar-powered plants in affecting the fauna are also available, and the associated environmental issue should be resolved.

The data on the increased negative radiation levels and possible negative effects on the health should be explained in detail. The solar radiation is most active during sunshine hours in Saudi Arabia. In order to address the problem of the effects of constructing the plants and radiation on flora, it is necessary to build plants and solar systems in relation to all the norms developed by the international environmental community.

Much attention should be paid to responding to the increases in heat in 24% (Renewable energy in Saudi Arabia, 2012). As a result, solar collectors and solar systems should be constructed to store the solar energy efficiently, while using the systems which decrease the levels of negative radiation. In this case, there is no credible statistical data to support the negative changes in the health of residents in the remote regions in Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia: The world factbook, 2014).

According to the conducted qualitative survey, the environmental issues associated with the construction of solar systems in Saudi Arabia are less significant than the issues associated with the use of the nuclear energy or supporting the oil reservoirs. That is why, it is possible to find the effective ways to address the environmental issues easily and rather quickly. The experts note that the question related to the environmental concerns can be resolved in the nearest future because construction of solar collectors, PV systems, solar-powered plants and the solar-powered irrigation systems is improved.

Today, the land of the remote territories in Saudi Arabia is unused. According to the experts, the construction of solar systems and plants in these regions is the effective approach to starting the use of the renewable energy. The correlations associated with the physical tests and meteorological data support the idea that the environment will respond more positively to the use of the renewable energy such as the solar power. That is why, the nuclear and oil resources can be used minimally while contributing to preserving the environment.

Conclusion

Solar energy is discussed as the new alternative approach to solve the energetic problems in the country where the use of the oil resources and natural gas is the priority. The focus on reconstructing the energy system in Saudi Arabia with the focus on the development of the solar systems seems to be effective method to provide the remote territories with electricity.

On the one hand, the general economic potential of Saudi Arabia will increase because of preserving the oil and natural gas resources. On the other hand, the reconstruction of the energetic system is based on many challenges. Moreover, the utilization of solar energy is directly connected with a range of environmental issues such as the negative radiation.

The construction of the solar systems and solar-powered plants is associated with the significant financial investment to purchase and utilize solar panels. The financial question can become the real barrier to using the renewable energy in the region. However, the opportunity to redistribute the funding and spending in the energy industry of Saudi Arabia can be discussed as a key moment in realizing the important project. Financial constraints are influential, but they can be overcome.

The utilization of solar energy in Saudi Arabia is also the challenge for the environment. The problem is in the fact that the storage of the solar radiation leads to increasing the levels of negative radiation. In addition to the issues associated with the construction of solar systems, the threat to the people’s health is discussed. However, the positive aspect is the associated reduction of the greenhouse effect in the region.

The provided findings can support the idea that the shift to the use of solar energy is the effective method to address the energetic crisis in the remote regions of Saudi Arabia. Although the reconstruction of the energy system can be discussed as stressful for the country’s economy, it is the first step to using more efficient renewable energy. The approach to address the financial question is the attraction of new investors and redistribution of financial resources. The way to cope with the environmental issues is the focus on regulations and construction requirements necessary to build the new solar systems.

In spite of the fact that the idea of using solar energy to produce electricity in the remote regions of Saudi Arabia seems to be rather provocative, this approach is effective to address the economic and social problem in the country. The renewable energy is discussed as the energy source of the future. Thus, the investment into the implementation of solar systems today means the economic prosperity in the future. Furthermore, the list of long-term advantages for the country’s economy and environment is longer than the list of financial barriers to address.

Reference List

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