Qatar is set to replace over 10 percent of its conventional forms of energy used to produce electricity and water with solar power in next six years, a senior official of Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) said. "Countries that have opted and developed solar energy have benefited a lot. Presently we are planning to replace 10 percent of total energy used for electricity generation and water desalination with solar power by 2018", General Manager of QEWC Fahad Hamad Al Mohannadi said at a news conference.
Al Mohannadi said that the growth in demand for energy in Qatar is one of the highest in the world. The country with clear sky and longer sunny days (16 hours a day), Qatar has the chance to build solar-based electricity supply which is far more efficient than any other part of the world.
He added that the future is full of challenges as we will require more and more energy in the years to come; so with the passage of time as a result of scientific advancement and availability of cost effective technologies, solar power will provide a viable alternative source of energy. These are all efforts to help conserve traditional energy resources.
Meanwhile, Chairman and CEO of Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) Dr. Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri and Al Mohannadi, on behalf of QEWC, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday to commit to exploring the possibilities of developing power generation using solar energy in Qatar and beyond at QSTec headquarters in West Bay, Qatari daily (The Peninsula) reported.
"QSTec is extremely proud to be signing this agreement with QEWC, as it marks the important progress towards providing a sustainable source of energy in Qatar, part of the Qatar National Vision 2030," Dr. Al Hajri said.
"We hope that collaboration will see many projects become a reality both here in Qatar and across the globe," he added.
QSTec is building a brand new industry of solar energy in Qatar. The project has already been allotted about 1.2msqm of land for the solar energy plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City that would produce over 45,000 tones of high-purity solar grade polysilicon.
The produce will have the capacity to generate up to six Giga Watt of electricity. The plant will soon be producing high quality, solar grade polysilicon, the key ingredient that goes into making the world's most efficient solar technologies such as solar cells and modules that convert the power of the sun into energy.
This solar energy will provide a sustainable alternative source of energy to conserve and protect Qatar's natural resources for the future.
QSTec's $1 billion polysilicon manufacturing plant will initially produce 8,000 metric tones per year of polysilicon. By the time this is transformed into solar modules, these solar modules will capture enough solar energy to power around 240,000 homes for an entire year.
The plant is scheduled to start operations in 2013. QSTec is a joint venture formed between Qatar Solar (a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development), SolarWorld AG and Qatar Development Bank.