Indian firms can benefit from solar energy boom in Qatar and UAE

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Dubai, Feb 3 (UNI) Indian solar companies making photovoltaic cells and other solar equipment may benefit from the huge capacity in solar power production being added by Qatar and the UAE.

Gas rich Qatar's General Electricity and Water Company, Kahramaa has drawn up ambitious plans to build either the world's largest solar power complex or a nuclear power plant, to deal with the expected surge in demand for power over the coming decades, the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported.

The plan is based on a 30-year demand forecast for the country's power and water sectors, prepared by a Dutch consortium of Kema and Royal Haskoning.

According to Kahramaa, a total of 16,260MW of power generation capacity will be added to the national grid between 2011 and 2036, almost four times the existing capacity of 4,200MW.

An extra 1.72 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) of desalination capacity is also planned by 2032, twice the current amount.

The expansion plan suggests several potential sites for the independent power projects, including one at Umm Bab in the southwest of the country, which could house a nuclear power plant.

Kahramaa plans to generate 20 per cent of its power from renewable resources by 2036. However, it is difficult to see how it could bring so much solar capacity on line without breaking it up into much smaller components.

Meanwhi Abu Dhabi will launch the construction of the world's first zero-carbon city "Masdar City" housing 50,000 people in a car-free environment this month.

The new Masdar City will be powered only by renewable energy including solar tapping the abundant sunshine in the desert country.

Masdar has also announced plans to build a 350-million-dollar 100-megawatt solar plant, which will later be boosted to 500 megawatts to help ease peak-time pressure on the national grid.

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