Electric power systems are increasingly becoming more widespread and complicated. Previously, electric power systems were designed to generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy from central generating units to customers through widespread transmission and distribution networks.
However, due to the rapid increase in electrical energy demand, environmental challenges being faced by the world, increasing oil prices and climate change concerns Renewable Energy Resources (RERs) have increasingly employed in the generation of electrical energy. Increasing government support such as feed in tariff and efforts in reducing gas emissions also yield to the increase penetration of RERs.
Moreover, the interest in the field of power systems has increased. The driven factors for such interest are the lack of circuit capacity, thermal and operational constraints, security of supply, national initiatives and the need for an improve quality of supply.
Therefore, the aims of the Center of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy and Power Systems (CREPS) are to provide consultation, conducting theoretical and practical studies, finding proper solutions and conducting technical training for technicians, engineers and researchers in the field of renewable energy and electrical power systems.
The prime research areas of CREPS include:
- Solar thermal.
- System integration.
- Energy storage and electric vehicles.
- Smart grids.
- Power Quality.
King Abdulaziz University has many points of strength in the area of renewable energy and smart grids. Firstly, KAU has many researchers in the field of renewable energy and power systems with practical experience. Secondly, many researches and projects have been conducted by KAU in this field. Thirdly, KAU has a research group and teaching laboratory in the field of renewable energy and smart grids. In addition to that, there are special research centers at KAU such as Center of Nanotechnology, Center of Research Excellence in Intelligent Engineering Systems, Center of Research Excellence in Desalination Technology, Center of Research Excellence in Environmental studies and Center of Research Excellence in Advanced Materials. CREPS will collaborate with these centers as well as related department and colleges to enrich the research and knowledge in the interrelated areas. Therefore, it is expected that establishing CREPS will complete the system of research centers and labs at KAU in the area of renewable energy and power systems.
CREPS also aims to create local, national and international scientific collaborations which will be translated to funded grants and collaboration in scientific publications.
In conclusion, we hope that CREPS can benefit the scientific and research community in the kingdom, and to help to achieve the strategic goals set by the 2020 National Transformation Program (NTP) and Saudi Arabia's Vision for 2030.