* Researchers to test solar-based devices and systems within Qatar’s desert climate

In an effort to promote research, development and innovation of solar-related technologies within desert climates, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (Qeeri), one of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s national research institutes, has launched the Qeeri Solar Consortium.
The membership-based programme for research, testing and demonstration of groundbreaking solar-energy technologies brings together researchers, engineers, technology producers, project developers and local authorities from the solar energy field, to shape a common focus on practical tests of solar-based devices and systems within Qatar’s desert environment. 
The programme’s inaugural meeting, held at the Qeeri offices, was attended by the consortium’s board members including the Ministry of Energy and Industry's Energy Affairs Department director Sheikh Mishal Jabor al-Thani, Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation's (Kahramaa) Conservation & Energy Efficiency manager Abdul Aziz al-Hammadi, Qeeri executive director Dr Marc Vermeersch, consortium chair and Qeeri's senior research director for energy Dr Veronica Bermudez Benito, and several global industry leaders.
The meeting discussed the consortium’s operations strategy, which aims to demonstrate, validate and accelerate the development of solar-energy technologies suited to desert climates. The members will have access to field test data of reference technologies as well as advanced industrial laboratory capabilities, in order to conduct research for the development of the industry. 
The Solar Consortium will contribute to drive research, development, and innovation efforts to address main industry challenges in the solar-energy sector. The members will contribute by defining research on technical issues of common interest to accelerate the development and deployment of solar energy in Qatar, whilst positioning the nation as a leading example in solar-research within desert-conditions. 
Dr Bermudez said: “One of Qeeri’s primary goals is to assist in overcoming Qatar’s Grand Challenges in relation to energy security. To that effect, we do extensive work in the field of solar energy and its integration within the broader global energy system. There are many challenges that are specific to the country such as its desert climate that is characterised by extreme temperature conditions, as well as specific dust and atmospheric features including soiling.” 
“Qatar is well on its path to diversifying its energy mix, which will in turn have a positive impact on the country’s economy. In coming days, it is institutes like Qeeri and its newly-launched Solar Consortium which will play a key role in providing the scientific research and development data we need to fuel the engines of our economy with renewable and sustainable energy. We are confident that the expertise and commitment of Qeeri’s scientists to innovation will help guide future policy-making as well as accelerate the country’s capability for the large-scale deployment of solar power,” Sheikh Mishal added.
The members will get exclusive access to confidential data and research in relation to their own products; all research outputs will be a product of Qeeri’s world-class facilities such as the Solar Test Facility, an impressive 35,000sq m test site located at Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Membership to the consortium is open to both organisations and authorities in the field of solar energy within Qatar, the wider region and internationally.