H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah addressing the Gobal Clean Energy Forum. Above and Below: Expert panellists discussing energy issues at the forum. (Ibrahim RO)
By Satish Kanady
DOHA: The theory that shale revolution will shake up the conventional energy market is wrong, instead it would complement the conventional sector to meet world’s growing energy demand, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, has said.
Addressing the International Herald Tribune’s (IHT) “Global Clean Energy Forum” here yesterday, Al Attiyah, who is also the former energy minister of Qatar, said that the shale story must be viewed as a booster to the confidence of energy-starving countries rather than pitting “Shale against Conventional.”
Gas is often the easiest solution to address world’s energy demand. One third of world’s population is still deprived of energy resources. The demands from China and India are projected to grow faster. Gulf region’s projected demand is also growing fast, he said.
Going down the memory lane of Qatar’s oil and gas history, Al Aattiyah recalled how Qatar began its humble journey in the energy industry before its emergence as a member of global energy club. “Energy experts advised Qatar not to waste our time by indulging in search of oil and gas. Qatar is far away from the major consuming countries. You guys cannot afford the cost of transportation. But we never stopped dreaming. We sent the first cargo to Japan. Then came Korea. Now we are sending thousands of cargoes across the world and Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter.”
“Before our GTL revolution, energy analysts again told us GTL has no future. They said it was a very complicated technology. They said we were putting ourselves in great risk. But I am a big believer in GTL and we proved we are right. We doubled our revenue from oil using the technology”.
Later, talking to reporters Al Attiyah reiterated that he is a great believer of technology and added technology advancements will help Qatar realise its ambitious solar energy generation plans.
Qatar is in a continuous process of formulating strategies for the development of solar energy. The Ministry of Energy and Industry will soon launch pilot projects in the solar sector as part of a 200MW solar programme. During the initial phase, small-scale plants generating 5MW-10MW energy each, installed on under-utilised land will be built, he said.
Phase II will involve assessment of the initial sites, with a view to bringing in private investment to increase solar energy production capacity. Due to scarcity of natural water resources and the growing demand for water, part of this energy will be utilised for the production of water via desalination process. Qatar aims to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable by 2024, and to have 1,800MW of installed green capacity by 2020, he said.
The Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) is planning to build a Solar Park that will produce sufficient energy for its water desalination capacity. Moreover, Qatar is planning to initiate a solar technology industry to meet the Qatar National Vision 2030’s goal for economic diversification. This will represent a stepping-stone which will allow Qatar to become a leading exporter of solar technology and knowledge in the Mena region and internationally.
Al Attiyah said Qatar has embarked on an extensive cooperation with regional and international partners to achieve two percent of total power output from renewable by 2020. A landmark example can be demonstrated on recently opened Qatar’s Passivhaus-Baytna project with use of 136 solar modules. Using this solar power system , Qatar’s housing units are estimated to cut 35 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
The two-day event is being organised with the support of Qatar’s leading media house Dar Al Sharq.