MEED conference told that Kuwait solar power rooftop pilot project planned

The MEED Kuwait Energy & Water Efficiency Conference in Kuwait was told this morning that the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) plans to launch a pilot rooftop solar power project in Kuwait city that could provide a model for a large-scale initiative.

“The board of directors of KFAS has agreed to install rooftop photovoltaic (PV) units on 150 Kuwaiti private homes,” KFAS director general Adnan Shihab-Eldin said.

He said the project could produce 2-3MW of power. KFAS is working on the project with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW) and Kuwait’s National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC).

Shihab-Eldin said that the solar units and their installation will be paid for. He said that the extent to which grid supplied power is displaced by solar power would be measured. Shihab-Eldin said that KFAS will invite householders to apply to join the pilot project. He also said that KFAS would be looking for houses with reasonable levels of energy efficiency.

“Once this has been done, this sets a model for others,” Shihab-Eldin said.

He said that KFAS calculations showed that 3,000-4,000MW of power could be introduced in solar power units were installed on all present and future buildings in Kuwait. This compares with peak power demand of 13,000MW this summer.

Shihab-Eldin that other KFAS power projects include:

  • The construction of rooftop PV solar power units on two Union of Consumer Co-operative Society (Co-op) buildings in Kuwait city. The units will have total capacity of 1MW and the project will cost KD 12m. KFAS is working on the project with KISR, MEW and NTEC. “This will save a huge amount at times of peak demand in the summer,” Shihab-Eldin said
  • Installing water conserving equipment in 20,000 locations. These will comprise apartments, houses and annexes. Shihab-Eldin said the budget for the project is KD 1.7m
  • Developing advanced solar power units
  • A desert subsurface water project
  • An assessment of underground water reservoirs.
  • Sensing, communication and control architecture projects
  • An ice thermal storage project
  • Retrofits
  • Management of energy consumption by remote control.

“KFAS is not in the business of producing electricity or being a contractor,” Shihab-Eldin said. “We are in the business of coming up with ideas. We want to expedite the adoption of simple technology in energy and water efficiency.”

The Kuwait Energy & Water Efficiency Conference is being held in the Jumeirah Messilah Beach hotel in Kuwait City. The conference is supported by the Ministry of Electricity & Water and endorsed by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).

Drake & Scull and Kimmco are conference sponsors. Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and Mushrif Trading & Contracting Company are networking sponsors.