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The University of Southampton

Research project: Solar Assisted electrical and thermal demand reduction in Saudi Arabia Housing

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is blessed with high solar radiation culminating in a hot climate requiring appreciable amount energy to support modern living conditions and provide comfort in the built environment. The resultant high and ever-growing energy consumption, derived from fossil fuels, is recognised as problematic in terms of pollution, carbon emissions and security of supply. Under its Vision 2030 the KSA has embarked on reforms of it economy including the energy sector, where renewable energy targets have been set couple with large investment to support this expansion.

This research project will contribute to KSA’s renewable energy targets by addressing energy consumption in buildings (60% of consumption in KSA) displacing fossil fuel supplied electrical loads energy with those driven from solar photovoltaics (PV) solar thermal and a combination of storage technologies.

The research overall aim is to investigate and provide evidence as to the role of solar energy systems in reducing electricity demand in residential buildings, contributing to national aspirations.

The research will encompass 50 different technology interventions in buildings coupled with detailed analysis that will (a) provide understanding of typical households’ consumption profiles, and the impact of the interventions on these, (b) provide guidance to future planning and inform policy and (c) provide large scale dataset for current and future researchers and (d) modelled scale up of such interventions across KSA to support the set renewables targets. Overall, the research will develop the needed capacity in this important area of energy, scope KSA’s built environment driven renewable energy provisions and how such provisions can contribute to the overall national targets whilst providing understanding of how this local PV power generation impacts networks.

The proposal addresses Grand Challenge 2 “Increase the reliable transmission and storage of renewable energy to account for 4% of total energy use”.

Related research groups

Energy and Climate Change
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