Bahrain to expand solar project
Manama, May 28, 2011
Bahrain National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) said it has initiated a pilot solar project in co-operation with a US company Petrosolar that will implemented across the kingdom in different phases.
The project, which aims to run every house in Awali area on solar energy, could be expanded to cover the Bapco refinery and its fuel and service stations, said Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
'Petrosolar is conducting a study on the feasibility of the project and this will soon be finished. It will take a while to implement since a lot of other procedures have to be taken into account if the project is found to be feasible.'
'While the earlier plan was to cover Awali, we now have a proposal to extend the project to the refinery as well as to the company's fuel and service stations,' he noted.
Dr Mirza said the feedback Noga had received pointed to the fact that solar energy was the most suitable for Bahrain.
He earlier said if the project was successfully implemented in Awali, there was a possibility it could take off and be implemented in other parts of Bahrain.
The Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, had previously reported the government plans to set up two new 'hybrid' power plants - one using solar energy and another using wind power, which combined would generate 200 megawatts of power.
Bahrain University applied physics professor Dr Waheeb Al Naser said the energy content of the sun per square metre was the same as a barrel of oil in Bahrain.
He claimed in this perspective, a field the size of a football pitch had the potential to generate equivalent energy of 2,000 barrels per year - assuming efficiency of solar power conversion technology was only 15 per cent.
Dr Al Naser also revealed that the sun generated an average of 1,900 kilowatts of solar power per square metre in Bahrain annually, which was high compared to the global average of around 1,700kw.-TradeArabia News Service