Doha, Qatar, July 9, 2015: Richly endowed in solar energy and supported by innovative research and infrastructure development plans, the GCC region has witnessed rapid growth in renewable energy generation and consumption. Qatar is leading the region by deploying new renewable energy initiatives and has become a major powerhouse in solar energy. Being the most abundant and viable energy source, it effectively addresses the increasing power requirements in the region.
In line with the country’s vision to promote sustainability and environmental awareness and reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the government has implemented several solar energy projects, including large-scale solar power plants, solar desalination projects and solar panel manufacturing plants. Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has undertaken tangible measures to transform Qatar into a regional solar hub. Kahramaa’s first solar power facility with a generation capacity of 10 to 15MW is expected to be operational by 2016. The solar power station will be located at Duhail, covering an area of over 100,000 square meters. Kahramaa has targeted a generation capacity of 200MW through solar power by 2020.
Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, said, “With ample amount of renewable resources at its disposal, the GCC region is harnessing the power of renewable energy technologies to its full potential. The state of Qatar has set a benchmark with its implementation of massive innovative programs in deploying large solar power plants.”
To meet the expected increase of power demand in the region, Qatar Foundation (QF) has undertaken and completed the Solar-Smart Grid project, which is also the first commercial photovoltaic (PV) project to be granted approval for grid connection from Kahramaa. According to industry estimate, Qatar Foundation’s solar energy smart-grid-enabled systems generate up to 85 percent of Qatar’s total solar energy output.
Tapping its tremendous solar energy potential, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) recently announced its plans to set up a solar map within the next year. The map will help identify locations across the country that receives high intensity of solar radiation to install solar cells for power generation.
Moreover, with Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, the government plans to enhance the use of renewable energy by building five solar stadiums using innovative solar-powered cooling technology that will mitigate the heat and cool the stadium. While the country has excellent solar energy potential, price competiveness and lack of a renewable energy policy framework poses a challenge to the growth of the solar power in the region.
Speakers from Kahramaa, Qatar Foundation, QEERI, QEWC and other industry leaders will discuss the various initiatives undertaken to promote solar energy in the country at the Power Qatar Summit 2015, incorporating the highly successful Solar Qatar Summit, on 26-27 October 2015 at The Ritz Carlton, Doha, Qatar.