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How are consumers using energy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

Figure 1: City of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Figure 1: City of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Source)

End-use monitoring offers a deeper understanding amidst sharply rising electricity demand.

The need for new energy resources is urgent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a country where electricity demand has more than doubled since 2000, and is anticipated to continue increasing rapidly—at an average rate of more than 8% per year—for the next ten years.

Driven by substantial economic, industrial, commercial, and population growth, this surge in electricity consumption is prompting the KSA to aggressively pursue a number of supply- and demand-side options. Among these options, energy efficiency offers significant potential to cost effectively offset demand growth.

The Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC), established in 2010, notes that buildings in Saudi Arabia are “characterized with severe excess of electrical usage, whether in air conditioning, lighting, equipment, and other devices.” A July 2014 article in Arab News indicated that 70% of buildings in the Kingdom are not insulated—a major factor in KSA electricity consumption, together with air conditioning, which, according to the SEEC, consumes 80% of electricity used in buildings.

Setting the Foundation for Efficiency Investments
To get the most out of its energy efficiency investments, the KSA first needs to gain a better understanding of how electricity is being used by consumers in residential and non-residential sectors. To that end, the Electricity Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA) and the Saudi Electric Company (SEC) recently hired DNV GL to develop a program to understand and classify how electricity is consumed within the Kingdom.

DNV GL, and its partners, EPRI and TNS Global, will be working closely with ECRA, SEC, and various stakeholders to develop a comprehensive understanding of power consumption patterns and trends across the Kingdom. The research team will collect data on the stock of appliances and end uses within each customer sector, including hourly data on customers’ demand for energy both at the customer whole-facility level and—most importantly—at the end-use level.  This information will be used by ECRA, SEC, and other government agencies to forecast future trends and develop appropriate strategies.

End-Use Monitoring, in Three Stages
The team will complete the end-use monitoring component of the project in three phases over the next 20 months, moving from small- to large-scale monitoring efforts.

Phase 1, the Demonstration Phase, will be implemented in the next several weeks, and will include a handful of residential and non-residential facilities.  This phase will give SEC research and field service staff an understanding of the various types of metering equipment required to complete the research.  The project will include the use of next generation, non-intrusive metering for the residential sector, and will deploy more conventional end-use metering for the non-residential sector.

Phase 2, the Pilot Phase, will include instrumenting a much larger pilot study—approximately 150 residential homes and 50 non-residential facilities in three geographical areas—over the next several months. This phase will focus on developing standard operating procedures for the installation and maintenance of the monitoring equipment over the life of the study.

Phase 3, Full National Roll-Out, is expected to include several thousand residential homes and up to 500 non-residential facilities randomly selected throughout the Kingdom. The primary objective of the study is to obtain detailed load profile information on the end uses of interest for a full year as an input for new load forecasting techniques.

DNV GL is very excited to be a part of this world-class project, and we commend ECRA and SEC for taking this bold step to better understand the energy use of their customers. We will be reporting on the exciting project happenings over the course of the next 20 months. Stay tuned!


Want more information? DNV GL experts will be at the World Future Energy Summit next week in Abu Dhabi. Visit Hall 7 stand 7511 to hear more about our energy efficiency expertise. Learn more at www.dnvgl.com/WFES2015.

Claude Godin

Claude Godin is the director of energy data analytics at DNV GL. In this role, Mr. Godin is responsible for the design and development of DNV GL’s energy data analytics product and service offerings in the Americas. Prior to joining DNV GL, Claude held the post of President, North America at EnergyICT. Under his leadership the company deployed meter data management systems at four major US IOUs, and provided AMI infrastructure to the US Navy, US Air Force, the Department of Labor, as well as real-time energy management systems to major retailers. He grew the company’s North American business entity in a highly-competitive environment of established incumbents heading into the sale of EnergyICT, NV to Elster in 2009.

Mr. Godin holds Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Statistics and a MBA from the University of Manitoba. He has been widely published on load research and speaks regularly at leading industry venues. To join Mr. Godin’s professional network on LinkedIn, click here.

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1 Comments Add your comment
Avatar Rick says:

Hi Claude, it’s been over a year since your posting and I’ve been looking for your next installment.

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