Share

Kuwait scales up investment in renewables

Energy security remains a strategic priority for Kuwait, which boasts one of the highest rates of per capita energy consumption in the world, with domestic demand for electricity more than doubling in the decade to 2013.

Share
Kuwait plans to generate 5% of its electricity through renewables by 2020 and 15% by 2030.
Kuwait plans to generate 5% of its electricity through renewables by 2020 and 15% by 2030.

Kuwait is steadily gaining traction in achieving its goal of increasing the share of renewables in the country's energy mix and boosting private investment in the sector.

A newly signed deal will see the creation of Kuwait's first solar-thermal energy generation station.

A contract for the new solar-thermal energy project was signed in September between the state-funded Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and Spain's TSK Group, which is charged with developing and operating the facility.

The $385m solar-fuelled plant will be built in the Al Shagaya desert area, close to the border with Saudi Arabia and Iraq and roughly 60 km from the capital, Kuwait City.

With the capacity to produce up to 50 MW, the station is expected to be integrated into Kuwait's existing electrical network by December 2017.

The plant is part of the first phase of a wider initiative aimed at creating a technology park in the area, dedicated to the production of electricity from renewable energy resources.

Phase one also includes two other renewable-based projects, according to media reports - a 10-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) station and a 10-MW wind power station.

According to KISR, the park will eventually be home to 1100 MW of solar-thermal generation capacity, 750 MW of solar PV and 150 MW of wind power, with an added focus on renewable research.

Another solar-thermal project high on the government's agenda is the Al Abdaliyah Integrated Solar Combined Cycle plant, which is set to be built in the south-west of the country. The plant will have a total capacity of 280 MW, of which 60 MW will be generated from solar power.

The facility is being developed under a build-operate-transfer scheme that provides a 25-year concession backed by an energy conversion and power-purchase agreement with the Ministry of Electricity and Water.

After the government called for expressions of interest last year, the names of pre-qualified companies are expected to be released by the end of the year, according to media reports.

A joint project with Germany has also been proposed to develop a 15-MW wind power plant, with a separate 10-MW solar-powered electricity station also reportedly in the pipeline.

Kuwait's energy diversification goals were mapped out in late 2012, when Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah announced plans to generate 5% of the country's electricity through renewables by 2020 and 15% by 2030.

Energy security remains a strategic priority for Kuwait, which boasts one of the highest rates of per capita energy consumption in the world, with domestic demand for electricity more than doubling in the decade to 2013.

Newsletter

Most Popular