Saudi Arabia plans to shift a large portion of its domestic energy production away from fossil fuel towards solar energy by 2030. Yet, the solar energy pool is mainly targeting photovoltaic technology. This study analyzes the potential of cleaner energy production from solar energy using concentrated solar power technology. First, different locations for concentrated solar power technology deployment are assessed based on potential development opportunities, solar resources, and infrastructure. Second, the paper assesses the performance and financial feasibility of four concentrated solar power technologies using the capacity factor, levelized cost of energy, and energy yield. The analysis indicates that all the considered locations are suitable for concentrated solar power technologies with a preference for the NEOM city located in the northern region of Saudi Arabia. The simulation results revealed that solar tower technology produces the highest energy yield of 2738 kWh/kW. The levelized cost of energy for the four technologies varies between 14.54 and 22.67 ¢/kWh, with linear Fresnel demonstrating the lowest and parabolic trough exhibiting the highest levelized cost of energy.
Ghaithan, A., Hadidi, L., & Mohammed, A. (2023). Techno-economic assessment of concentrated solar power generation in Saudi Arabia. Renewable Energy, 220, 119623. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2023.119623