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Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of national research institutes, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), launched the QEERI Solar Consortium. This membership-based program promotes research, development, and innovation in solar-related technologies in desert climates. QEERI Solar Consortium is a group of researchers, project developers, local authorities from the solar field, engineers and technology producers. It focuses on practical testing and evaluations of solar-based devices in Qatar’s desert environment.
At the QEERI Offices, the program’s inaugural meeting was attended by members of the Consortium’s Board, including Sheikh Mishal Jabor Al-Thani, Director of Energy Affairs Department of Ministry of Energy and Industry; and Eng. Abdul Aziz Al-Hammadi, Manager of Conservation & Energy Efficiency, Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation “KAHRAMAA”. Dr Marc Vermeersch, QEERI Executive Director, Dr Veronica Bermudez Benito, Senior Research Director for Energy at QEERI, Chair of the Consortium, and many other industry leaders.
The QEERI Solar Consortium’s operation strategy was discussed at the meeting. It aims to validate, accelerate and demonstrate the development of solar energy technology that is suitable for desert climates. Members of the Consortium will be able to access field data and advanced laboratory capabilities to support research in the development of the industry. The Solar Consortium will drive research, development and innovation to address the industry challenges in solar energy. It will be a collaborative effort of its members to define research on technical issues of mutual interest in order to accelerate the development of solar energy in Qatar and position the country as a leader in solar research in desert conditions.
Dr Bermudez said, “One of QEERI’s primary goals is to assist in overcoming Qatar’s Grand Challenges in relation to energy security. To that effect, we do extensive work in the field of solar energy and its integration within the broader global energy system. There are many challenges that are specific to the country such as its desert climate that is characterized by extreme temperature conditions, as well as specific dust and atmospheric features including soiling. Building a solid understanding of the reliability and degradation pathways is a key component for the future economic competitiveness of solar technologies.”
“We believe that by bringing together stakeholders, researchers, industry players and authorities onto a common platform, under the strong leadership of QEERI – with a view to the Institute’s the strong indoor testing capabilities and powerful characterization competences, we will be able to address these challenges and work towards our shared goals most efficiently,” she concluded.
Sheikh Mishal Jabor Al Thani added, “Qatar is well on its path to diversifying its energy mix, which will in turn have a positive impact on the country’s economy. In the coming days, it is institutes like QEERI and its newly-launched Solar Consortium who will play a key role in providing the scientific research and development data we need to fuel the engines of our economy with renewable and sustainable energy. We are confident that the expertise and commitment of QEERI’s scientists to innovation will help guide future policy-making as well as accelerate the country’s capability for the large-scale deployment of solar power, allowing us to preserve our environment and natural resources for future generations.”
Members will have exclusive access to confidential data and research related to their products. All research outputs will come from QEERI’s world-class facilities like the Solar Test Facility, a 35,000-square-meter testing site at Qatar Science and Technology Park.