Solar Desalination: Current Applications and Future Potential in MENA Region – A Case Study

Review paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
ARTICLE IN PRESS (scheduled for Vol 11, Issue 02 (general)), 1100437
Abderrahim Maftouh1 , Omkaltoume El Fatni1, Siham Bouzekri2, Tarik Bahaj1, Ilias Kacimi3, Souad El Hajjaji1, Abeera Malik4
1 Faculty of Science, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Rabat, Morocco
2 ENSAM, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Rabat, Morocco
3 Mohammed V University in Rabat, Rabat, Morocco
4 Faculty of engineering, Baluchistan University of Information Technology Engineering and Management Sciences, Baleli Road Quetta, Pakistan


The Middle East and North Africa region countries are rapidly shifting towards adoption of desalination techniques to overcome shortage of freshwater reservoirs. Climatic conditions of the region showed that these areas are arid or semi-arid with higher solar flux which makes them highly suitable for harnessing solar energy. Hence, technology of solar photovoltaic cells coupling with desalination unit is investigated extensively to treat brackish water in Middle East and North Africa region. The large-scale usage of this technology can only be happened by government quick action and subsidies to encourage the installation and commissioning of PV desalination plants or coupling existing ones. This solar desalination technique has been found to be highly environment friendly with no greenhouse gas emission. This review study will provide a road map for the future solar powered desalination plants in Middle East and North Africa region, obstacles in applicability of technique and how to overcome it to ensure a sustainable future water production in Middle East and North Africa region.

Keywords: Renewable energy; Solar PV; MENA region; Water desalination process; Solar desalination systems; Brackish water treatment; Water consumption.

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