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National Initiative for Water Desalination Using Solar Energy

“Water desalination is considered the best strategic choice to provide drinking water for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is already producing more than 18% of the world’s desalinated water. However, the cost of producing desalinated water is high due to the substantial energy consumption of the desalination plants. Therefore, reducing the energy cost will be positively reflected in the production cost. KACST aims, throughout this National Initiative for water desalination using solar energy, towards practically applying advanced Nanotechnology techniques in the production of solar energy systems and membranes for water desalination. These techniques have been developed through the KACST/IBM Joint Center for Nanotechnology Research. The initiative aims at finding technical solutions to address energy and water problems, and thus contribute to the national economy. One of the main objective of this initiative to desalinate seawater at a cost of less than 1.5 Saudi Riyals per cubic meter compared to the current cost of desalination of seawater by thermal technology which is in the range 2.5 to 5.5 Saudi Riyals per cubic meter, and desalination by Reverse Osmosis which is in the range 2.5 to 5.5 Saudi Riyals per cubic meter for a desalination plant producing 30,000 cubic meters per day. The cost of generated electricity by the new technology of solar photovoltaic will be less than 30 Halalah per kilowatt-hour.” Read more at


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