Application of solar PV in the building sector: Prospects and barriers in the GCC region

Belal Ghaleb, Saddam Akber Abbasi, Muhammad Asif*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Solar Photovoltaic (PV) can make a significant contribution towards reducing the energy and environmental footprint of buildings. Helped by features like scalability, ease of use, and declining price, PV has become the predominant renewable technology for application in buildings. Estimates suggest that rooftop PV can help meet 25% to 49% of national electricity requirements in countries around the world. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, having traditionally relied on abundantly available fossil fuel resources to meet their energy requirements, are also planning to diversify their energy mix through the exploitation of solar energy. While several utility-scale PV projects have been initiated in these countries, their building sector remains largely untapped. This study aims to investigate the factors hindering the progress of PV in buildings. It investigates the barriers to the application of PV in buildings under four major categories: sociotechnical, economic, policy, and management. It employs both qualitative and quantitative approaches to determine the perspective of building industry professionals around these barriers. Data is gathered through a questionnaire-based survey and in-depth interviews. Results are then analysed analyzed to determine the most significant barriers and their impact on the use of PV in buildings. The questionnaire reveals that lack of public awareness is the most significant factor that hampers the application of PV while the interviews indicate that the root cause for weak poor public awareness is subsidized tariffs. Policy recommendations are made to overcome the identified barriers and to promote the application of PV in the building sector of the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3932-3942
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Barriers
  • Buildings
  • GCC countries
  • PV
  • Solar energy
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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