Qatar boosts renewable energy efforts with new solar power plants

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A man working at solar power station

Qatar has taken significant steps towards embracing clean energy, with the inauguration of the groundbreaking Al Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant (KSPP) in October 2022. This first-of-its-kind facility in the country spans 10 square kilometres and boasts 1.8 million solar panels. Capable of producing up to 800 megawatts (MW) of power, the plant marks a milestone in Qatar’s journey to diversify its electricity production.

The Gulf nation’s renewable energy ambitions don’t stop there. Mohamad Al Harami, from KSPP of QatarEnergy, has revealed plans to construct two more solar power plants in the next two years. With a combined capacity of 880MW, these plants will be situated in Mesaieed (410MW) and Ras Laffan (470MW), further bolstering Qatar’s renewable energy sector.

Before the establishment of KSPP, Qatar relied solely on gas and steam-powered turbines for electricity production. The new solar power plant not only contributes to energy efficiency but also significantly reduces manpower required for operations. With a state-of-the-art control room and cutting-edge equipment, the facility requires only a few engineers for its daily functioning.

KSPP employs innovative ‘sun tracking’ technology, which follows the sun’s movement to maximise output and land usage. In addition, robotic arms and treated water are used to clean solar panels at night, enhancing the plant’s overall production efficiency.

QatarEnergy’s updated sustainability strategy reaffirms the country’s commitment to producing clean and affordable energy. The strategy aims to expand solar capacity to over 5GW, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and deploy carbon capture and storage technology to capture more than 11 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2035.

Qatar continues to explore other avenues to promote green energy and facilitate the transition to a more sustainable future. With the ongoing development of solar power plants, the nation is well on its way to becoming a leader in clean energy production.

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