Solar power advocates tout the ample real estate upon which solar panels can be slathered in order to generate clean energy. They have a point, but the reality is more complicated. Dealing with property owners, their tenants and even local regulations can make what appears to be an obvious solution quite complicated.

Parking lots are a great place to arrange solar panels. You have open space, and for installers, it is easier to install them above cars than on roofs. To that end, Chevron will partner with GreenGulf, a leading clean energy firm in Qatar, to implement solar canopies at the Qatar Science and Technology Park. The project builds upon Chevron’s increasing investment in solar technology, most notably in California.

Any visitor who drives around Doha will notice the ubiquitous sand-colored canopies that from afar look like peaks of frosting. The canopies are critical during the summer when the mercury will surpass 50° Centigrade in the Middle East summer.

Gulf Times’ editor Bonnie James explains the benefits these solar enabled parking lots could have in the long run. Each parking bay alone could generate up to 4.4 megawatts of electricity and prevent up to 830 kilograms of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere annually.

With Qatar leaders insisting they are committed to a long term sustainable vision for Qatar, solar panels atop of parking spaces are an easy first step towards building a post oil and gas economy. With the bevy of prestigious international events on Doha’s calendar in the coming decade, more initiatives similar this Chevron-GreenGulf venture are crucial to Qatar’s future resilience.

Photo of Doha’s evolving skyline courtesy Leon Kaye.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.