Qatar to adopt first renewable energy strategy

 27 Nov 2017 - 7:56

Qatar to adopt first renewable energy strategy
From right: Dr Mohammed bin Saif Al Kuwari, Director of the Center for Environmental and Municipal Studies; Dr Yousef Alhorr, the Founding Chairman of the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) and Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari, President of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), visiting a pavilion showcasing sustainability technology on the sidelines of the Sustainability Summit 2017, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, yesterday.

By Sanaulla Ataullah | The Peninsula

To diversify energy sources and cut carbon emission, Qatar has stepped up efforts to adopt the first renewable energy strategy.

“The Ministry of Energy and Industry, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) and relevant partners in the country are cooperating to adopt the first renewable energy strategy in Qatar to diversify energy sources and reduce harmful emissions,” said the Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada in a speech at the Sustainability Summit 2017. 

The Summit kicked off in Doha yesterday with the participation of experts in the sustainability and environment fields representing a number of international agencies, research institutions, government bodies, and other relevant organizations.  The two-day Summit is being organised by the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) in cooperation with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

Presenting Qatar’s achievements in the area of sustainability, Al Sada said that Qatar Petroleum (QP) has implemented several projects to reduce harmful carbon emissions. “The (Zero Flaring) project in Al Shaheen field is one of the major steps in this field, which contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.”

The Minister underlined that Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), contributes to reducing carbon emissions through the use of gas to generate energy instead of coal and oil, as it is one of the cleanest sources of fuel. 

As for the construction and infrastructure sector, the Minister said that there are many initiatives aiming to achieve sustainability in this sector, notably the creation of a new chapter in Qatar Construction Specification (QCS) by Qatar General Organization for Standardisation entitled “Green Building” which includes quantitative standards relating to energy, water, materials and the internal environment.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy is responsible for organising the World Cup 2022 with a neutral carbon footprint, as well as building all of its facilities according to the standards of the International Football Association GSAS, thus achieving an abundance of energy and water estimated at more than 40% compared to normal consumption rates, the Minister added.

He noted that the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD), in cooperation with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, inaugurated the GCC Carbon Footprint Program, which aims at reducing carbon footprint and making it available to those wishing to benefit from these carbon units.

Lusail City, the largest and most modern multi-use city in Qatar, has adopted the GSAS standards for all its buildings, making it among the most sustainable cities in the world, in addition to the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) which develop its projects, including schools, mosques, health centers and government building, in accordance to the standards of the national program (Tarsheed) and GSAS.

Regarding transport sector, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry said that Qatar Rail, one of the largest and most sustainable infrastructure projects, has set strict environmental requirements for the design, construction and operation of all stations, attaining four stars in GSAS standardisation.

This has saved at least 30% of carbon emissions compared to normal rates. Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority was also one of the first countries to sign an international convention on the reduction of carbon emissions with the International Civil Aviation Authority. H E Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada highlighted the Ministry’s launch of “Green Cars” initiative in coordination with the Minister of Transport and Communication and Kahramaa. 

The initiative aims at reducing about 4% of Qatar’s carbon emissions within the overall goal of reducing 17% of total emissions by 2022. It also aims to increase the proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country by 10% by 2030 and develop the infrastructure needed to support this trend.

The Summit aims to establish a platform for practitioners, experts, regulators and researchers from national and international organizations to share knowledge and ideas, and exchange thoughts and experiences related to enhancement of climate actions and achieve a diversification to low-carbon economy.

The Sustainability Summit 2017 also seeks to provide networking opportunities between professionals and decision-makers, empower companies and institutions to reach new markets, introduce innovative technologies and showcase sustainability success stories, and honor a number of regional players who have been successful in this field. 

The Summit is expected to hold rich discussion on the technological solutions and policies that maybe adopted by the region to fulfill its commitment to the international community under the Paris Convention of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The panel discussions will have themes such as energy, technology aspects and public policy of the urban environment, urban planning and energy systems integration, the role of the public sector in leading sustainability in projects, sustainable urban environment technologies and sustainable urban environment standards, systems and technologies.