Qatar solar test project online this year

Nation to test renewable resources for future energy generation

Qatar's solar test facility will be operational by the end of the year. (Getty Images)
Qatar's solar test facility will be operational by the end of the year. (Getty Images)

A solar test facility at the Qatar Science and Technology Park is expected to be operational by the end of 2011, as specialists are brought in from all over the world to advise on the project.

According to a report by The Peninsular, Greengulf – the company working with Chevron to develop the project – is bringing in leading experts to discuss what would suit Qatar’s needs best.

“We are working together with Chevron on a project for the QSTP Solar Test Facility,” said Omran Hamad Al Kuwari, CEO of GreenGulf. “The idea is to test a variety of photovoltaic, solar and thermo technologies, and to understand how they work under the Qatari climate.”

The technology is to be used in a variety of applications including power generation and solar cooling, and Al Kuwari is confident that the cost of the technology won’t be an issue.

“The costs in general, and in solar specifically, have gone down dramatically in the last two years, especially in photovoltaics,” he said.

While Qatar’s plentiful gas reserves haven’t seen it rushing to embrace renewable energy, there is a general consensus that it would be a useful tool to save resources for export.

“The objective now is to understand the cost, to understand technologies and find the right applications – targets will come later,” Al Kuwari says. “If you look at purely economic perspectives, if you utilise resources from the sun, you can potentially save your gas resources for more exports,” he continued.



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