Qatar Considers Investments in Solar Thermal; Could Conserve Millions of Barrels of Oil Annually
Qatar is awash in sun, and in fact, for every square kilometer dedicated to generating solar energy, the country could conserve 1.5 million barrels of crude petroleum annually. Considering that air pollution in Qatar is worsening--six times over acceptable health limits, in fact--the country’s leadership has got to think about its citizens’ health while finding ways to reduce energy consumption at home so more can be exported abroad.
A US$1 billion polysilicon manufacturing plant is already underway, and now a study funded by Qatar Petroleum states that Qatar’s potential to generate clean energy via solar thermal technology is “huge.” At 1,858 kWh per square meter thanks to the 9.5 hours of direct sunlight daily and low cloud cover year round, Qatar is in a position where it could really transform the relationship the region has with energy.
The prospects in Qatar are certain exciting; I have long said that Qatar is a compelling 21st century sustainability laboratory. Now it is time to stop talking, and start investing.