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Evaluating the economic viability of solar-powered desalination: Saudi Arabia as a case study

Christopher Napoli and Bertrand Rioux

International Journal of Water Resources Development, 2016, vol. 32, issue 3, 412-427

Abstract: This article constructs a cost calculator to estimate the economic competitiveness of solar-powered desalination in Saudi Arabia. Solar desalination is defined as a plant that obtains solar energy from a closed system. This is done to focus the investigation on desalination technologies, rather than the efficacy of replacing conventional energy sources with renewables in an integrated electricity grid. The results suggest that current options for solar-powered desalination are not cost-competitive compared to incumbent technologies in Saudi Arabia. The article offers insight into where costs must decrease before solar technologies are economically competitive in the country.

Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2015.1109499

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