Photovoltaic Energy in Kuwait: A Financial and Environmental Analysis

  • Fahad Alazemi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research is concerned with the drivers to utilize Renewable Energy in Gulf Cooperation Council countries with a focus on Kuwait. Such countries show high rates of electricity subsidies with high rate of emissions. At present, there is a continuous need to build new power stations to increase the electrical capacities, in order to cover the high peak loads that occurs in summers to avoid blackouts. The aim of this research is to create a combination of approaches to assess the adoption (economic and environmental) of Photovoltaic for electricity generation in Kuwait, which can be used to assist policy makers to compare various energy mixes and hence determine whether their current and future strategies are appropriate.Kuwait is in this research representative of an exemplar of oil-based economy in Gulf Cooperation Council region since they share similar energy policies and geographic location. The research provides an insight into the adoption of renewables in the region and the impact that particular energy mixes may have. Nine future potential scenarios are created showing different levels of PV deployment within Kuwait. The combination of approaches in this research estimates the economic and environmental impacts using Levelized Cost of Electricity and Life Cycle Assessment respectively of differing RE mixes.The findings show that energy storage increases the cost of electricity and the emissions from the photovoltaic sector. However, for the energy mix (PV and conventional), assuming oil price greater than 10.1$/Bbl. (when no storage required) and 15.2$/Bbl. (when using storage), PV generally lowers the cost of electricity, CO2 and SO2 emissions. Whilst, human toxicity is increased when storage is used. Taking all these factors into account, PV deployment is generally beneficial. However, if different combinations of impacts are considered, environmental and economic impacts may take different patterns. This led to a multi-objective problem to be solved. Using Pareto Front analysis, scenarios without storage requirement (i.e. 13% or less of photovoltaic) are preferable if only cost and human toxicity are considered.The contribution to knowledge from this research is that the deployment of large scale PV technology is beneficial in Kuwait economically and environmentally at least until 30% of the maximum peak load of electricity. The results have implications for other GCC countries with similar geographical, political and energy drivers; the methodology used in this research would be appropriate for these contexts.
Date of Award18 Oct 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorLinda Newnes (Supervisor) & Steve Cayzer (Supervisor)


  • Photovoltaic
  • Kuwait
  • LCA
  • LCOE
  • GCC
  • renewable energies

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