World Cup Fever Triggers Qatar’s First Solar Strategy

World Cup Fever Triggers Qatar’s First Solar Strategy

/ Renewables / Wednesday, 19 October 2022 08:48

Setting the stage for the FIFA World Cup 2022, notably gas-rich Qatar has built its first solar energy power plant servicing this desert region, which organizers of the tournament have heralded as providing clean energy for its stadiums.

The solar farm in al-Kharsaah, west of the capital Doha, is "one of the biggest" in the Middle East, said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, the emirate's energy minister and president of QatarEnergy.

It was launched in 2016 in partnership with Japan's Marubeni as part of a broader push by Qatar – one of the world's biggest producers of liquified natural gas – to invest in solar energy.

The project, costing 1.7 billion Qatari riyals (about $467 million), consists of some 1.8 million solar panels and covers an area of more than 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles).

Operational since June, the plant has a capacity of 800 megawatts and will "expand" further in coming years, Kaabi told the media.

It is planned to provide up to 10% of the tiny Gulf nation's energy supply.

Organizers have used the massive solar plant as proof of claims that Qatar will host the first "net zero" World Cup, but Kaabi said he could not confirm the al-Kharsaah plant will provide all the power for the November-December football tournament.

While lagging behind other Gulf states in the solar race, Qatar has set forth the target of five gigawatts of solar energy capacity by 2035.

In August, it announced two major solar projects that will more than double its energy output from the renewable source within the next two years.

Saudi Arabia has also announced a target of five gigawatts of solar energy capacity but vowed to reach it instead by 2030. The United Arab Emirates has had solar plants for more than a decade.

Latest Issue

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.