*Project to produce around 500MW of electricity
*More than 20,000 smart meters have been installed
*Electricity, water supply unaffected by blockade
Qatar has an ambitious plan to transform all the houses in the country into production hubs of renewable energy, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) president Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari has said.
"There is also a project to produce around 500MW of electricity through solar power," he pointed out at the 2nd Forum for Creativity and Innovation, organised by Kahramaa at Kahramaa Awareness Park under the theme "Achieving Vision with a Creative Leadership".
It is understood that the vision entails installation of solar panels on the rooftops of houses across Qatar, which could serve as a radical step to boost the solar energy production and thereby reduce the dependence on conventionally produced electricity.
"Kahramaa is currently working on using solar power to desalinate ground water for using the same for agriculture but the high cost is the real challenge. However, if the idea worked out commercially, it will be reflect positively on food production in the country," al-Kuwari said.
Kahramaa has also adopted smart cities solutions. More than 20,000 smart meters have been installed and connected to its communication centre. Similarly, Msheireb Downtown Doha is set to be completely smart and Kahramaa is taking part in this.
The Kahramaa president pointed out that Qatar has become reached a record in reducing pipe water leakage to a mere 4% due to the use of Smart Code, which detects the points of leakage in the water pipes accurately so as to be sealed. This achievement makes Qatar on par with Japan and Singapore in this area. Earlier, the percentage of such leakage amounted to 30-40%.
"Qatar's uninterrupted supply of water and electricity was not disrupted in any way due to the blockade and the country is able to produce its needs with efficiency," asserted al-Kuwari.
"Kahramaa has managed to maintain the strategic water reserves of the country and addressed the technical challenges of keeping water for long duration inside huge tanks through a combination of innovative solutions, such as introducing perpetually moving fans to avoid possible stagnation problems and using new types of waves to keep the water moving," he explained.
He pointed out that Kahramaa has been able to deal with the consequences of the blockade quickly through its strategic stock of materials and equipment and its flexibility in offering tenders, adopting alternative markets in a very short time and signing new contracts with more suppliers to make up for the ones halted in the wake of the ongoing Gulf crisis.
Referring to the Gulf electric linkage agreements, Kahramaa president clarified that it is still applicable as it is based on mutual agreements and all the parties are committed to them so far.
The blockade has also made Kahramaa keen on producing the necessary equipment and materials locally. An agreement will be signed with Qatar Development Bank on manufacturing in the electricity sector and encouraging investors, especially Qataris, in this area.
Al-Kuwari said that Kahramaa has encouraged creativity and innovation throughout its work environment.
"Targets have been specified and the standards of performance have been put in place, and employees have the freedom to introduce innovative ways for implementation," he said. Kahramaa has launched a website for creativity and innovation.
The forum featured an open discussion session which was also participated by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) president Dr Saad bin Ahmed al-Muhannadi, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy secretary general Hassan bin Abdullah al-Thawadi, Qatar Development Bank CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, and Hasad Food CEO Mohamed bin Badr al-Sada, in the presence of participants from various government entities and officials from the private sector.