Qatar’s determination to make the best use of renewable, free source of energy that is sustainable and totally inexhaustible, is clearly reflected in its recent awarding of the Al Kharsaah Large Scale Solar PV Power Plant.
The nearly QR1.7bn Al Kharsaah solar project has a targeted capacity of 800MW, which equals about 10% of the country’s peak electricity demand.
The first phase of the project envisages connecting 350MW to the grid by early 2021.
First of its kind in Qatar, the solar plant will be constructed at Al Kharsaah in West Doha covering a total area of 10sq km.
The plant will see the application of the latest solutions and innovations in solar energy technology.
As per the agreement, Qatar’s Siraj Energy, a joint venture owned by QP and QEWC, will hold a 60% stake in the project while the rest will be held by France’s Total and Japan’s Marubeni.
The utility-scale solar power plant will help Qatar bring down carbon emission. The proposed plant, during its life span, is expected to reduce 26mn tonnes of carbon dioxide aligning with the objectives of ‘Tarsheed’ or the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency by Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa).
Tarsheed’s declared mission is to reduce 1mn tonne of carbon emissions annually until 2022.
Kahramaa is already active in green missions by launching a slew of initiatives including electric vehicles and introducing energy efficient devices.
HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi explained the project is part of Qatar’s policy to diversify energy production and increase reliance on the efficiency of renewable energy, the cornerstone for a sustainable future for the generations to come.
The project is also part of efforts to conserve energy and protect the environment in a manner that strikes a balance between the needs of the current generation and that of the future generations as stipulated by Qatar National Vision 2030, he noted.
The plant will generate about eight times the quantum of solar energy that Qatar had pledged to build, helping the 2022 FIFA World Cup become a carbon-neutral event, al-Kaabi added.
Solar power is a renewable free source of energy that is sustainable and totally inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels that are finite. It is also a non-polluting source of energy and does not emit any greenhouse gases when producing electricity.
Qatar has substantial reserves of natural gas, which is a cleaner energy source. But the country’s declared policy is to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.
It is in this context the recent statement by Qatar Investment Authority chief executive officer Mansoor bin Ebrahim al-Mahmoud is to be seen.
He said that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund plans to shift into greener assets and that 44% of the fund’s infrastructure projects are zero-emission investments.
Qatar is fully committed to fighting climate change. In line with this, the country has resolved to produce energy that is safer, more affordable and cleaner.
Sustainable development is central to Qatar’s development planning as envisaged in the country’s national vision, strategies and policies.