Assessment of integrating solar energy with reverse osmosis desalination

Ahmed M. Ghaithan*, Awsan Mohammed, Laith Hadidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Most of the desalination units are powered using conventional fossil fuel which contribute to releasing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Thus, renewable energy is a competitive and potential alternative to run desalination plants. Photovoltaic-powered desalination plants have previously been viewed as an infeasible alternative, however, recent technology advancement has changed this perception. In this regard, this study assesses the feasibility of powering a large-scale Reverse Osmosis desalination plant using different energy supply systems including full grid, PV-grid, PV-grid-battery storage, and PV-battery storage. In addition, the study assesses the potential of reforming the power sector in Saudi Arabia by exploring the impact of removing fuel subsidies on the cost of water. The results show that in case of fuel subsidies, the final cost of water desalination using PV-grid without a storage system is cheaper than full grid. The PV-battery appears less competitive but can be promising and competitive when considering environmental issues. The main finding of this study is that desalinated water cost ranges 0.883–2.14 $/m3 based on energy supply option.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102740
JournalSustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Assessment
  • Desalination
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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