green sceneqatar toDay
a country so rich in natural resources, Qatar has plenty o renew-able energy potential as well. A 2002 study by Qatar University in-dicated that the cost o electricity generation rom wind here – withall actors taken into consideration – compares avourably withthat o ossil uels. However it’s the potential o the sun which hasscientists and engineers smitten with endeavour. Solar technology is still in its inancy in terms o how it can be developed.Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) is a joint venture between Qa-tar Foundation (70%), SolarWorld AG (29%) and the Qatar Devel-opment Bank (1%). SolarWorld AG is a German solar company thathas developed proprietary technologies and has a strong researchand development background. The collaboration is ocused on pro- viding a product which will complement Qatar’s natural energy re-serves. Chairman and CEO o QSTec, Dr Khalid K Al-Hajri, spoke to
about what his organisation is trying to achieve.“The development o the solar industry in Qatar brings with ittremendous opportunities. The growth in the demand or solar ap-plications and technologies will continue to expand here, throughthe region and the world whilst preserving our natural resources.This new industry growth will ofer a wide range o research, in- vestment, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.“In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, QSTec is develop-ing a new industry or Qatar. A number o new jobs and businessopportunities within the local economy will be created and we willprovide new career paths in the solar energy sector or our youth,”he added.
The science bit
Since the industry is still in its inancy stage, there is little doubtthat it’s a very technical and complex process. So what exactly is in- volved in changing heat energy into an industrial raw material?“QSTec will use the Siemens Process to manuacture its polysili-con. This process involves the chlorination o metallurgical gradesilicon (MG-Si) to produce TCS (Trichlorosilane). This is then re-acted with hydrogen in high-temperature reactors to produce highquality, solar grade polysilicon.”Basically QSTec will be puriying MG-Si to make polysilicon, which is the key ingredient or producing the world’s most ecientsolar technologies such as cells, ingots, waers and solar modules, which are utilised by a wide variety o applications to capture theenergy rom the sun.Initially, QSTec will produce 8,000 metric tonnes per year(MTPY) o polysilicon, but it is designed to expand as demandgrows. This amount o polysilicon is enough to produce solar en-ergy to power approximately 240,000 homes per year. Built on 1.2million sq m o land in Ras Lafan Industrial City, the QSTec plantcan expand capacity to more than 45,000 MTPY and has been de-signed to seamlessly incorporate ingots, waers, cells and modulemanuacturing acilities.MGSi is derived rom silicon – the second most plentiul elementon earth ater oxygen – and is used extensively in the aluminium
a siMple exaMple like a Morning sHower illustrates tHe iMpact of tHe qatari sun – a colD tapproDuces very Hot water. teMperatures coMe close to 50 Degrees celcius for MucH of tHe year anDtHis extreMe Brings witH it enorMous potential. qatar solar tecHnologies is in tHe Businessof Harnessing tHe sun’s rays to proDuce power for all purposes.