Qatar to get solar-powered desalination plant

December 01, 2012 - 3:02:31 am

Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiya (centre), Chairman of the Organising Sub-Committee for COP18/CMP8, and Khalid Al Mohannadi (right), Co-Founder of Doha Oasis, addressing the media yesterday. Shaival Dalal

DOHA: An estimated 80 percent of Qatar’s total water desalination process would be soon powered by solar energy. The country’s proposed 1,800MW solar project is in the final stage. Once the project becomes operational, Qatar’s water needs would be mainly met through solar energy, announced Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiya, Chairman of the Organising Sub-Committee for COP18/CMP8 .

“The time is right and we are now in a final design stage of putting together the solar plant which will generate 1,800mw power from 2014 onwards and would potentially produce 80 percent of our water needs through harnessing solar power”, he said while addressing the media yesterday.

Qatar’s aquifers have almost depleted. We need a sustainable system to generate water, he added.

Qatar realises the fact that it is critically vulnerable. The country imports 90 percent of its total food demand. We will look into how it is impacting on our environment. 

Al Attiya said there is an increasing tendency of countries putting more and more restrictions on their export quota. This shows climate change is becoming risky. Qatar’s recently launched Food Security Programme is aimed at addressing this concern.

Replying to a query, Al Attiya said Qatar’s emission slash and development programme would go hand in hand. The country is committed to ensure that its economic growth is happening at the cost of its delicate environment. The Qatar National Vision 2030, reaffirms this commitment, he said.

On Qatar’s legacy of hosting COP18, Al Attiya told reporters they can expect an announcement regarding this on December 5, 2012 at the COP18 venue. However, he said Qatar’s green initiatives are not just COP-related.

Speaking on Qatar’s commitment to Civil Society Engagement on Climate Change issues, Khalid Al Mohannadi, Co-Founder of Doha Oasis, said the government is supporting both local and regional NGOs in a big way.  These NGOs are working on action plans on how to change the planet earth how to make it a much better place to live in.

Khalid said thousands of green activists will march in Doha tomorrow raising the slogan “One environment, one people and one earth”. 

The Peninsula 

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