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Volume :7 Issue : 26 1981      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE FUTURE OF SOLAR ENERGY IN THE ARAB GULF STATES

Auther : Dr. S. Ayyash

 

         The oil resources of the Gulf States, which represent their primary source of energy and revenue, are being rapidly depleted due to intensive exploitation to meet rising world demand.  The Gulf States should, therefore, seek alternative energy sources to meet their energy needs in the post-oil era.  With the abundance of insulation throughout most of the year, solar energy could be developed on a large scale.  The future of solar energy and possibilities of its utilization in the Gulf States are discussed in this paper.

         Available statistics have shown a conspicuous increase in energy consumption in all the Gulf States.  The annual rates of increase during the period from 1965 to 1974 have risen to 11.6% in Kuwait and reach as high as 69% in the United Arab Emirates.  If such high rates continue progressively during this decade, the Gulf States may consume considerable percentages of their oil production.  Oil is consumed in quite a large number of fields, namely: power generation, transportation and water desalination.  Electricity is used in creating local microclimates, in domestic consumption, in industry…..etc.  Solar energy could substitute oil in many of these utilizations.

         The effectiveness of harnessing solar energy is very much dependent on the availability of solar radiation, which rates amongst the highest in the world in the Gulf region.  Its daily average ranges between approximately 300 Cal/Cm² in December to about 650-700 Cal/Cm² in June.

         The methods applied in converting solar radiation into energy can be classified broadly into electrical and thermal conversion methods.  The former can be achieved by using photovoltaic solar cells having the capacity of converting directly solar radiation into electricity that can be used in different devices.  Thermal conversion, on the other hand, involves the use of different types of solar collectors to produce both low and high thermal energy that can be applied in heating, cooling, industrial, and water desalination and in many other applications.

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May 18, 2017

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