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With the aim of developing Qatar into the solar hub of the Middle East, over 200 will gather in Doha for Solar Qatar Summit 2013 from Nov. 18-19 to discuss strategies and planned solar energy projects for the region. Attendees will include government officials, key decision makers and invited international experts.

The Summit will take place under the patronage of Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, president of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corp. ‘Kahramaa,’ which has been charged with the task of delivering a 200MW solar energy plant project by 2020.

Qatar plans to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewables over the next decade and announced at last years’ United Nations Climate Change Conference COP18 that it would seek tenders for a 1,800MW solar energy plant in 2014.

Saleh Hamad Al-Marri, head of Renewable Energy Technologies Section at Kahramaa, will update attendees on the strategy and technology requirements for upcoming solar projects. Qatar’s Minister of Industry and Energy, Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada stated earlier this year that the initial phase of the 200MW solar program would see pilot plants generating 5MW-10MW, with a 2012 estimated cost of $30 million.

A Qatar solar energy project

A Qatar solar energy project

Experts from solar technology developers DuPont, BASF and NEOCIT will also be giving presentations at the Summit and showcasing solutions aimed at helping Qatar achieve its renewable energy goals. With financial resources at its disposal and one of the world’s highest irradiation rates, the targets are not unobtainable although current technology challenges involving high temperatures and dust are restricting progress. A number of international companies are now getting involved in research and development projects to address the issues.

The first phase of the 200MW solar project is expected to be tendered in the first quarter of 2014 by Kahramaa as the sole transmission and distribution system owner/operator for electricity and water in Qatar. Solar energy is a main focus for Kahramaaa as it works to ensure sustainability, economic growth, social development and environmental protection as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030. Work is currently underway on the construction of Kahramaa’s Awareness Park, which will demonstrate the processes of electricity generation and water desalination as well as serving as an education center for children.

Qatar has promised a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup in 2022, which is expected to draw around half a million visitors, boosting infrastructure spending and construction across the State. The country is also racing to develop efficient solar-powered cooling technology for stadiums, is pioneering research in solar desalination, manufacturing and supplying polysilicon solar solutions and constructing energy-efficient ‘passive houses.’ As many as 2,072 photovoltaic panels and 37 inverters are currently being installed on the Msheireb Downtown Doha buildings, which claim to be the world’s first sustainable regeneration in a downtown area of a major city.

Consisting of more than 20 sessions, including presentations, case-studies and panel discussions from invited industry organizations, such as Qatar Green Building Council, Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute, Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment at Masdar Institute and Qatar Electricity and Water Corp., the Solar Qatar Summit will communicate best practice strategies and opportunities for key stakeholders.

Other sponsors showcasing their solutions at the event include Conergy, Jakson, Jinko Solar, AREVA, Al Emadi Solar, Bonfiglioli, TEL Solar, Arkema, SunEdison and Greenergy Solar Industries. The event is being organized by Expotrade Global, under the patronage of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corp. and with support from Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, State of Qatar.

More information on the Solar Qatar Summit 2013 can be found at www.solarqatarsummit.com.

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