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Research Article

Economics of Renewable Energy for Water Desalination in Developing Countries

Enas R Shouman1*, Sorour MH2 and Abulnour AG3

1Department of Information Systems, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt

2Chemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt

*Corresponding Author:
Enas R Shouman
Department of Information Systems
National Research Center, Dokki
Giza, Egypt
Tel: +20 2 33371211
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: November 02, 2015; Accepted date: November 30, 2015; Published date: December 04, 2015

Citation: Shouman ER, Sorour MH, Abulnour AG (2015) Economics of Renewable Energy for Water Desalination in Developing Countries. Int J Econ Manag Sci 5:305. doi:10.4172/21626359.1000305

Copyright: © 2015 Shouman ER, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Freshwater shortage in many areas around the world presents a constraint to sustainable development. Desalination of saline water, especially seawater which accounts for more than 97% of the total water quantity on earth, represents a feasible option in many cases. The need for sustainable sources of energy to operate high energy - consumption desalination systems is mandatory. Future, in remote coastal and arid areas, the use of renewable energy for powering desalination plants could be a feasible option in view of several technical, economic and environmental considerations. In this paper, the issue of integration of desalination technologies and renewable energy from specified sources is addressed. The features of Photovoltaic (PV) system combined with reverse osmosis desalination technology, which represents the most commonly applied integration between renewable energy and desalination technology, are analyzed. Further, a case study for conceptual seawater reverse osmosis (SW-RO) desalination plant with 1000 m3/d capacity is presented, based on PV and conventional generators powered with fossil fuel to be installed in a remote coastal area in Egypt, as a typical developing country. The estimated water cost for desalination with PV/ SW-RO system is about $1.21 m3, while ranging between $1.18-1.56 for SW-RO powered with conventional generator powered with fossil fuel. Analysis of the economical, technical and environmental factors depicts the merits of using large scale integrated PV/RO system as an economically feasible water supply with an autonomous power supply.

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