Qatar ramps up efforts to go green by building two more solar power plants
Qatar has always led the region and the world when it comes to the implementation of environmental initiatives.
The country, in a bid to quickly transition to clean energy, built and inaugurated the Al Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant (KSPP), a first-of-its-kind facility in the country, in October 2022.
Featuring 1.8 million solar panels across 10 square kilometres, it is capable of producing up to 800 megawatts (MW) of power.
And now, two more solar power plants with a combined capacity of 880MW is set to be built within the next two years, said a top official.
“KSPP was a qualitative leap in diversifying sources of electricity production in the country. It’ll be followed by a power plant in Mesaieed with a capacity of 410MW and another in Ras Laffan with the capacity of 470MW,” said Mohamad Al Harami, from KSPP of QatarEnergy.
“The two projects, which’ll see the light of day within two years from now, will be an added value to renewable energy sector of Qatar,” said Al Harami.
Before KSPP’s establishment, Qatar had been fully dependent on gas and steam-powered turbines to produce electricity. Al Harami said KSPP was important as it provided the country with a complete network of renewable energy feeding the national electricity grid.
“KSPP is not only energy efficient, it’s also helped reduce manpower significantly in its operation. KSPP and its main control room have the latest equipment and are operated by a few engineers. The sun rises at 6.30am and the solar panels start production five minutes later. They reach the highest production within two hours,” said Al Harami.
KSPP utilise ‘sun tracking’ technology to follow the movement of the sun to ensure maximum output and the most efficient use of land. The plant also utilises robotic arms and treated water to clean solar panels at night in order to enhance the plant’s production efficiency.
QatarEnergy’s updated Sustainability Strategy re-emphasises its commitment to responsible production of clean and affordable energy to facilitate the energy transition.
In addition to increasing solar capacity to over 5GW, the strategy targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and deploying carbon capture and storage technology to capture over 11 million tonnes per annum of CO2 in Qatar by 2035.
Qatar has also been doing other things to make green energy more popular.
The country recently inaugurated its first-ever eco-friendly e-bus depot at Lusail, with a capacity of 478 buses. The depot is the first in the Middle East to rely on solar energy, further helping in achieving the wise leadership’s vision as well as Qatar National Vision’s goals.
It was also announced that Qatar’s public transport system will go completely green in the coming days. It will be a direct legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
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