Research boost for solar in Qatar

Chevron and GreenGulf team up to research the use of solar in Qatar.

Centre will research solar energy use in Qatar.
Centre will research solar energy use in Qatar.

Chevron Qatar Energy Technology , an affiliate of Chevron Corporation, and GreenGulf, a Qatar-based renewable energy and clean technology company, on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint study to test solar technologies and their application in Qatar.

The project will study the performance of different photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies, as well as collect and evaluate the data provided by technologies to be located at a 35,000 square meter solar test site at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP).

The project is in line with QSTP's strategy for assisting in the development of a national solar energy industry in Qatar, and help local planners evaluate, select and install technologies best suited to local conditions. Solar technologies vary in their sensitivity to dust and heat and use different amounts of land and water, which can reflect their relative costs.

Under the memorandum of understanding Chevron and GreenGulf will each invest up to $10m in the study program, with Chevron's investment part of an initial $20m commitment to QSTP. Technology tests are expected to commence in late 2010 and continue for two to four years.

"We see solar as potentially an important part of the region's future energy mix. Together with energy efficiency, we need to identify appropriate technologies and applications and demonstrate that they are sustainable solutions" said Omran Al-Kuwari, CEO of GreenGulf.

Chevron announced in February 2009 that it will establish its Center for Sustainable Energy Efficiency (CSEE) at QSTP and is now in the process of building out the Center. The CSEE will identify solar power, solar air-conditioning and building-efficiency technologies that work best in Middle Eastern conditions. The Center is scheduled to open in mid 2010.


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