70 centers planned to assess Kingdom’s renewable sources

Updated 03 July 2013
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70 centers planned to assess Kingdom’s renewable sources

King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) recently embarked on the establishment of 70 stations and centers aimed to determine renewable energy sources in all parts of the Kingdom, local media said.
The centers will assess all renewable sources, including solar, wind, waste-conversion, and geothermal energies and collect ground readings from different parts in a step to build a database that will help implementation of renewable energy projects for electric generation and water desalination.
Meanwhile, the KACARE is currently organizing a workshop to acquaint attendees on a national map of renewable energy sources in the Kingdom. The map, scheduled to be finalized by the end of the current year, will be used by all concerned parties such as universities, research centers and energy project developers.
So far, ten centers have been erected and evenly distributed to collect all weather and air data conducive to show renewable energy sources in all parts of the Kingdom. The data will be accessible by researchers through a website on some basic information such as solar radiation and wind speed.
KACARE is reportedly working on the project with a number of national entities such as King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saudi Company for Power Transmission (SCPT), Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY).
The Kingdom, which recently selected eight locations to test the possibility of producing electricity from wind energy, is said to have the ability to reduce consumption of hydrocarbon fuels in electricity generation and water desalination up to 50 percent by 2032 by resorting to other renewable sources. According to a study released by KACARE, the share of renewable energy in this regard will roughly hit 30 percent.
The Kingdom is targeting that the share of solar energy to electricity generation capacity will be between 16-22 percent by 2032, or 41 Giga-Watt (GW), sources said.


Hajj season boosts Middle East hotel demand in August

Updated 24 September 2018
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Hajj season boosts Middle East hotel demand in August

  • Occupancy rates — a measure of the proportion of available rooms sold — in the region jumped to 63.4 percent from 62.1 percent
  • The average daily room rate — another key industry metric — increased 12.2 percent to reach close to $170 per night

LONDON: Demand for hotel rooms across the Middle East leapt last month providing welcome relief for an industry that has been grappling with an oversupply of hotel accommodation, new data showed.
Occupancy rates — a measure of the proportion of available rooms sold — in the region jumped to 63.4 percent from 62.1 percent, according to data provider STR’s research published on Sept. 24.
The average daily room rate — another key industry metric — increased 12.2 percent to reach close to $170 per night, while revenue per available room (RevPar) increased by 14.5 percent to reach $107.50.
The region’s hotel sector has been under pressure due partly to the impact of low oil prices and geopolitical risks, resulting in a slump in room revenue and occupancy as supply exceeded demand.
“It is true in the broader sense that we have been seeing a softening of market-wide RevPar levels in the hospitality sector across most major cities within the GCC countries,” said Ali Manzoor, partner, hospitality and leisure at property consultancy firm Knight Frank.
Analysts have blamed the year-on-year uptick in August on the earlier Hajj season and Eid Al-Adha holiday, rather than indicative of a change in outlook for the sector.
“The spike in occupancy levels in August was largely attributable to differences between the Gregorian and Hijri calendars,” Manzoor said.
This year, the pilgrimage period took place in August, helping to boost the industry’s performance that month. “It is therefore reasonable to expect hotels to underperform in the month of September in relation to last year,” he said.
Looking at data for the year-to-date, the UAE retains the highest occupancy rate in the Gulf region at 72.2 percent, though this represents a slight decline of 0.8 percent compared to the same time period last year, according to STR data.
Saudi Arabia’s occupancy levels stood at 58.1 percent year-to-date, marginally up by 0.2 percent on last year.