With World Cup 10 Years Away, Qatar Considers Smart Grid Investment
Could Qatar become a smart grid leader? With its promise to host a sustainable and carbon neutral event during the harsh Gulf summer, this corner of the Middle East must do what it can to convince skeptics and give the world a cutting edge global sporting event. To that end, Kahramaa, Qatar’s energy and water authority, has committed to the research and development of smart grid’s potential. Smart grid is one opportunity for oil rich countries to diversify their economies as we slowly approach a world of peak oil. With the wealth from which these countries along the Arabian Gulf already benefit, investment in entrepreneurs and tech firms would be one way to attract talent. The region’s extreme weather would also be the perfect test bed in which to test the latest intelligent energy distribution systems. While much of the world darts a critical eye to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, this event, along with others, open doors to new technologies taking root within the Middle East. If the rest of the world wins from improved energy efficiency and reduced dependence on fossil fuels, Qatar’s counter-intuitive policies will be seen as one of the great stories of the 21st century. Photo courtesy Leon Kaye.