Qatar is looking for effective and efficient alternative energy…

The country will not miss any opportunity to generate electricity at reduced costs if an effective and efficient alternative renewable energy source is found, a senior Kahramaa official said at Solar Qatar Summit yesterday.
Addressing a gathering that comprised a large number of professionals engaged in the energy sector across the world, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa)’s head of Renewable Energy Technologies Saleh Hamad al-Marri said the country was looking at cost-effective solutions to produce electricity and drinking water.
“Kahramaa is carrying out effective plans to put in place a minimum of 200MW of solar power in the country’s installed electricity capacity, latest by 2020, as Qatar cannot rely on just a single source as is being done now,” said al-Marri, explaining that a major step in this direction would be made possibly towards the second quarter of 2014. The QR120mn station in Duhail, which has an initial capacity of 5-10MW, is expected to make a beginning and will be the pilot project in the country’s solar energy sector.
The demand for power, said the Kahramaa official, was expected to grow considerably in the coming years and the country was committed to generate at least 30% of its installed power capacity from solar power alone. At present, the country’s total installed capacity is more than 9,000MW.
Answering a query on the huge initial investment for solar power, al-Marri said as Qatar has an excellent power infrastructure, possessing remarkably good transmission and distribution systems, backed by a large number of quality sub-stations in its electricity network, the generation costs will be less than what many others may think of. “We could make considerable savings on money, which would have otherwise been spent on installing initial solar infrastructure,” he said.
The official said the application of solar energies would contribute substantially to reducing carbon emissions as envisioned in Qatar National Vision 2030. “It will not only help reduce power generation costs in the long run, but also help the country lessen the impact of carbon emissions, which it has been experiencing all along,” said al-Marri.
The Kahramaa official also pointed out that though the generation costs of electricity and water in Qatar are much higher than most other countries of the region, they are provided to the country’s customers at perhaps the lowest rates anywhere in the region.
Replying to a query from a delegate on the possible nodal agency for operations in solar energy, al-Marri said the country is now concentrating mostly on building facilities, adding that Kahramaa is capable of co-ordinating all such activities by using its expertise, experience and infrastructure.

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