Investigating energy demand and renewable energy utilisation strategies to enhance energy policy and sustainability in Kuwait

Al-Fadhli, H.M., 2021. Investigating energy demand and renewable energy utilisation strategies to enhance energy policy and sustainability in Kuwait. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

In past decades, few oil-producing countries have paid significant attention to renewable energy utilization due to the widespread availability of fossil fuels with well-established production technologies. However, in recent years, it has become clear that this has adverse environmental, economic, and social effects, and may also threaten these nations' energy security. As a result, the State of Kuwait has declared its intention to meet 15% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. This study explores the drivers of current and future energy demand in Kuwait, assesses the nation's progress towards its 15% target, and suggests a policy framework and medium and long-term strategies to enhance renewable energy utilisation within the oil-rich state.

Energy consumption and renewable energy utilisation data were obtained from the general public, government organisations, and private sector stakeholders in the country using a mixed-methods approach. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews with experts, legislators, and policymakers in governmental and non-governmental organisations with links to Kuwait's energy and renewable energy sector. Quantitative data was gathered using structured questionnaires targeting three groups of participants: members of the general public, official organisations, and academic organisations; these questionnaires sought to ascertain respondents’ attitudes towards environmental issues, especially the positive effects of utilising renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. The collected data were coded and analysed, with a SWOT analysis used to examine the viability of solar energy as an alternative to conventional fossil-based fuels in Kuwait.

The results provided positive indications of belief in sustainability, the need to protect the environment, and the desire to achieve energy security in the long term for future generations. 75.7% of respondents were characterised as showing high to moderate levels of energy conservation; however, the findings suggest that greater efforts must be made to encourage the rest of the population to become more energy aware and improve their consumption behaviour, ideally via more public-awareness campaigns and other initiatives by the Kuwaiti government. 91% of respondents believe that official (or government) organisations should support citizens who use renewable energy in their homes by, for example, providing financial benefits, including lower electricity bills or feed-in-tariffs.

87.5% of participants chose solar energy as the most suitable renewable energy source to invest in due to its widespread availability in Kuwait. However, most interviewees considered that the Kuwaiti government is in a precarious position in respect of its 15% goal. The research findings indicate that the economic viability of renewable energy is still a significant challenge, due in part to the ongoing subsidisation of fossil fuels, and this is exacerbated by over-consumption. In terms of energy supply and demand, findings from the questionnaires and interviews indicate that the State of Kuwait is currently struggling to meet rapidly rising demand. In order to achieve its 2030 target, the country needs to invest in several types of renewable energy generation, notably at the Al-Shagaya project, to overcome the barriers to private sector investment in the production of renewable energy technologies, and to develop coherent strategies to expand renewable energy utilisation.

This study proposes a National Policy Framework for Renewable Energy for Kuwaiti policymakers, focussing on energy demand, consumer efficiency, and renewable energy utilisation, and aiming to increase knowledge and awareness about renewable energy utilisation at the individual and governmental levels. The four areas targeted for policy and legislation are a) increasing awareness about energy consumption and renewable energy utilisation; b) monitoring and evaluating systems to improve user efficiency and encourage renewable energy use; c) introducing rewards and subsidies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy utilisation; and d) boosting the portfolio of renewable energy projects. It also proposes a medium term (2030) and a longer term (2050) strategy for renewable energy utilisation. The Renewable Energy Strategy for 2030 involves developing the necessary policies and legal frameworks, creating the infrastructure for renewable energy sites and farms, and setting aside capital to acquire the necessary resources. The recommend strategies for 2050 are to invest in the production of renewable energy components, notably solar panels and storage mechanisms, and to diversify renewable energy sources to include wave and wind energy.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Al-Fadhli, H.M.
Date: May 2021
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author, Hassan Mutni Al-Fadhli. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Oct 2021 15:29
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 15:29
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44551

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