Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation plans to transform Qatar into a regional solar hub…

The Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) aims to transform Qatar into a regional solar hub with its first solar power facility, which is expected to be operational by 2016.

The solar power station, with a generation capacity of 10MW to 15MW, will be located at Duhail covering an area of more than 100,000sq m. Kahramaa has targeted a generation capacity of 200MW through solar power by 2020.

Expotrade Middle East regional director Brad Hariharan 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 programmes in deploying large solar power plants.”

Rich 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.

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 estimates, QF’s solar energy smart-grid-enabled systems generate up to 85% of Qatar’s total solar energy output. Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) recently announced its plans to set up a solar map by 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 for the stadiums. While the country has excellent solar energy potential, price competitiveness and lack of a renewable energy policy framework poses a challenge to the growth of the solar power in the region.

Speakers from Kahramaa, QF, QEERI, Qatar Electricity & Water Company, 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 successful Solar Qatar Summit, on October 26 and 27 at the Ritz-Carlton, Doha. For more event details, log on to http://www.powerqatar.com/