About the Atlas

Why is the Renewable Resource Atlas needed?

The current state of knowledge on renewable resource characteristics in Saudi Arabia is not adequate to support power project development, research, and policy and planning.  For example, solar power project developers need to understand the monthly, daily, and even sub-hourly patterns of solar resources, which are heavily impacted by dust levels and clouds, to support project siting and design.  Researchers also need to understand dust levels and solar spectral information to design coatings and cleaning methods for power installations, and optimize the power conversion technologies for Saudi Arabia’s unique environment.  The data in the Atlas will support achievement of Saudi Arabia’s sustainable energy mix targets.  The Atlas has been launched as part of K.A.CARE’s Monitoring and Mapping Program, to support users such as power project developers and financers, researchers, government organizations, industries, academics, and the general public.


The Program Behind the Atlas

K.A.CARE’s Renewable Resource Monitoring and Mapping (RRMM) program, as the name suggests, focuses on monitoring and mapping the renewable energy resources in the Kingdom.  The findings of the RRMM program have been used to establish this online Renewable Resource Atlas.  The RRMM Program also includes the operation, calibration, and maintenance, of a newly deployed solar resource monitoring network, and collaboration for the development of a wind resource monitoring program throughout the Kingdom.  Waste-to-energy and geothermal resources will receive increased attention in the Atlas as the RRMM Program expands.  The RRMM Program leverages the collected data to provide useful analysis to a host of stakeholders, and also engages in outreach to data users and providers. The RRMM Program also leverages data for the international renewable resource community, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Partnerships with a wide variety of organizations are critical to the success of the RRMM Program.  Many universities, technical colleges, and technical institutes serve as solar resource monitoring station hosts, along with several government partners including the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).  Many Saudi government agencies also contribute their datasets and expertise to the Atlas. Among the major organizations that are expected to benefit from the Program are universities, research institutes, project developers, project financers, and governmental/semi-governmental organizations.