Chevron performs Qatar solar study

Chevron Qatar Energy Technology, an affiliate of Chevron Corporation, and Greengulf, a Qatar-based renewable energy company, are to perform a joint study to test solar-energy technologies and their application in Qatar.

The research will be performed at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), where engineers will collect and evaluate data from a number of different photovoltaic and solar-thermal systems – which will be located at a 35,000m2 solar test site at Chevron Qatar Energy.

Solar technologies vary in their sensitivity to dust and heat, and use different amounts of land and water, which can reflect their relative costs. Measurements obtained over a period of years under Qatar climate conditions are expected to help local planners evaluate, select and install technologies best suited to local conditions.

Chevron and Greengulf will each invest up to $10m (£6.5m) in the study programme, with Chevron’s investment part of an initial $20m commitment to Chevron Qatar Energy. Technology tests are expected to commence in late 2010 and continue for two to four years.

Omran Al-Kuwari, chief executive officer of Greengulf, said: ’We see solar as potentially an important part of the region’s future energy mix. Together with energy efficiency, we need to identify appropriate technologies and applications, and demonstrate that they are sustainable solutions.’