Dubai, UAE (February 13,
2010) - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has begun building the
first solar-powered water desalination plant, the first step in a
three-part program to introduce solar energy into the Kingdom. The
program, launched by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and
Technology (KACST), aims to help stabilize future power and water
supplies inside Saudi Arabia through the creation of solar-powered
Water desalination is critical to providing clean drinking water
around the world. Today, Saudi Arabia produces 18 percent of the
world's desalinated water. By building water desalination plants
that run on solar energy, the Kingdom can reduce operational costs
and in turn, reduce consumer costs.
Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad, KACST Vice President for
Research Institutes said, "The solar energy program will reduce the
cost of producing desalinated water and of generating power for use
in the Kingdom, an oil-dependent nation, which has launched a
national energy efficiency program."
Saudi Arabia is a prime location to harness solar energy because
of its year-round sunshine. The sun in Saudi Arabia emits about
7,000 watts of energy per square meter over an average of 12 hours
every day. KACST and IBM have developed a research center to
determine how best to harness and repurpose this solar energy and
is preparing to implement this state-of-the-art technology.