Solar PV in Kuwait: The effect of ambient temperature and sandstorms on output variability and uncertainty

Kuwait has a high potential for utilizing meteorologically driven energy resources such as solar PV. However, understanding the extent to which the distinct climatic conditions in Kuwait, reflected in the ambient temperature and occurrence of sandstorms, affect the variability and uncertainty of solar PV output is crucial. This is because it allows power system planners to adopt appropriate measures to accommodate solar PV generation and thus minimize renewable energy curtailment and consequently opportunity costs. In this study, the performance of a 2000 MW solar PV plant operating under the weather conditions in Kuwait is simulated using a Monte Carlo approach. The results show, on average, the power generation is 13% lower in the summer compared with the spring when the temperature is milder and solar production peaks. However, the certainty of production is higher in the summer. Furthermore, the PV generation variability in the summer is of the same magnitude as the demand variability, whereas during winter months, it is approximately twice the demand variability on any given day of the year. Sandstorms with daily average PM10 concentration of less than 300 ppb lead to little to no reduction in daily total irradiation. However, day-long and severe sandstorms (PM10 2700 ppb or greater) reduce daily total irradiation by 57%. Generally, the largest reductions occur when high particulate matter concentrations coincide with peak hourly solar irradiance.

Alshawaf, M., Poudineh, R. &  Alhajeri, N. S., ‘Solar PV in Kuwait: The effect of ambient temperature and sandstorms on output variability and uncertainty‘, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 134, December 2020

By: Mohammad Alshawaf , Rahmat Poudineh , Nawaf S. Alhajeri


Journal Article