Qatar is entering a new era of solar technology with at least one Qatari firm leading the way, according to industry experts.

Omran Al Kuwari, co-founder and CEO of GreenGulf, and Dr Mohammad Khaleel, executive director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), were speaking at Techtalk series hosted by Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D).

Al Kuwari kicked off the talk, offering a concise history of Qatar’s solar scene, culminating in the 2014 launch of Kahramaa’s first tender in a major national solar project. He also gave insights into where the industry is headed, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. His talk indicated that firms and institutions in Qatar have become important players in technology development and innovation.

Companies like GreenGulf are the product of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development’s (QF) unique and comprehensive cycle of education, research and commercialisation, which helps to deliver economic diversification and innovative home-grown technology that will benefit the country and the rest of the world.

Al Kuwari said: “We are seeing the beginning of a new era of interest in solar energy and we are trying to use this moment to advance the industry and implement clean solutions in Qatar.”

Ever since GreenGulf – a successful home-grown Qatari start-up supported by QSTP – installed the country’s first solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), solar initiatives have steadily garnered momentum.

The number of firms and institutions in Qatar’s solar ecosystem has rapidly multiplied in the past three years, with GreenGulf leading the way.

According to Al Kuwari, the total installed solar capacity in the country at the moment is about 4 Megawatts. Of this, GreenGulf is responsible for approximately 3.5 Megawatts, since its inception in 2009.

Al Kuwari also provided an update on QSTP’s and GreenGulf’s flagship Solar Test Facility project. Since the facility was launch in 2012, it has gathered valuable data on how 30 different solar technologies perform, helping the industry optimise the performance of solar technologies in a region with abundant solar energy and challenging environmental conditions.

Dr Khaleel said: “We have a great opportunity to benefit from solar energy in Qatar, and QEERI is committed to supporting Qatar’s solar journey through innovation and creativity. We must work to take advantage of solar energy at this moment, because it doesn’t require massive new infrastructure – just the will and hard work needed to reach what we aspire to.”

The talk was followed by a question and answer session where the experts engaged a packed room of researchers and students. Audience members raised important questions about solar technology and Qatar’s renewable energy future.

QSTP’s Techtalks continue to be a sought-after forum for knowledge-transfer to technology focused entrepreneurs, SMEs and professionals in Qatar. It is one of several on-going QSTP programmes supporting technology development, innovation and commercialisation in Qatar.

Souce: Trade Arabia