By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter
Sustainable development programmes and government initiatives to transform Qatar into a knowledge-based economy will play a key role in building smart cities, an expert in “green” technology has said.
“The advancements in clean energy, particularly solar power technology, can help the government meet the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs Green Trade Project Office (GTPO) marketing director George Hu maintained.
“Construction of smart cities is envisaged in the Qatar National Vision 2030, which guides the country in the right direction,” he told Gulf Times yesterday on the sidelines of the 13th edition of Project Qatar, where GTPO is showcasing leading Taiwanese companies specialising in “green” and eco-friendly products.
The GTPO is a government-sponsored office that aims to bridge the gap between the local Taiwanese manufacturers and the international market.
“We are offering Qatar a spectrum of solutions, mostly eco-friendly products in water management, ‘green’ construction materials, and also heat-proof products like insulation coatings and insulation films,” he explained.
Hu stressed that Qatar “is a good market” for the solar power industry.
“The weather in Qatar is suitable for harnessing solar energy,” he noted, adding that building more solar farms would help expand other sources of clean energy.
“Based on our research, Qatar is an ideal place to develop the photovoltaic (PV) industry and solar farms. The challenge in this industry, however, is the amount of dust in the environment,” he said.
Asked about the role of solar energy in water desalination, Hu said: “Since there is an abundance of sunshine in Qatar, harnessing solar energy could help reduce the country’s dependence on hydrocarbons in fuelling desalination plants.
“The earth’s resources might run out sooner or later. Tapping or harnessing free energy sources like wind and solar is a good way to protect the earth and the environment. It really depends on the government to decide whether or not it is worth investing in renewable energies.”
Citing Taiwan’s “Million Solar Rooftop PVs” project, Hu said the initiative could help the government intensify its public awareness on the importance of clean energy.
“The project encourages the public to install solar panels on their rooftops, sell the harvested power back to the grid, and this is one of the ways that the government can collaborate with the private sector and engage the people,” he pointed out.
During the Project Qatar exhibition, Taiwan has showcased a state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly booth that features modular, easy-to-assemble parts that are reusable for large expositions. Also, the “Taiwan Green Product Demo House” hosts a wide variety of “green” product providers, many of which are debuting new products for Qatar this year.
On the first and second days of the event, Project Qatar organisers recorded a 36% increase in total visitors compared to the first two days of the previous edition. The four-day event concludes tomorrow at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
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