A Qatar Guide for Tourists and Residents
Home   Qatar   Doha   Contact   Qatar Jobs   Qatar Map   Request

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Qatar: Becoming more environmentally conscious?

The Sun

The Sun: Qatar's other great asset?

In what may seem strange to the UK, which has been frittering away its North Sea oil and gas reserves without any thought to the future, a country which has enough gas to last for a hundred years at its current rate of usage is thinking of a future without fossil fuels.

Qatar may have the world's third largest supply of gas but until recently it has been flirting with the idea of alternative power sources - namely, solar power and nuclear energy.

In February Qatar was considering building a solar power complex with a capacity of 3,500 megawatts, which compares to a current total grid capacity of 4300. That would make it one of the largest solar complexes in the world.

More recently, TCE energy has announced plans to build a $12 million demonstration solar thermal power station, which will hopefully be scaled up if successful.

The country has also been toying with the idea building a nuclear power station, although according to the Guardian UK this is becoming less attractive due to the current fall in energy prices.

Other measures have also been taken recently, as the resident who paid a $2,700 fine for water leakage may have noticed. Penalties have been introduced for the wastage of water and electricity, a camel farm has been introduced which should help prevent erosion and seawater greenhouses, which utilise the sun and the sea rather than fossil fuels to produce crops, are being considered.

There is still an incredible lack of awareness amongst much of the population - and indeed, even as we choke on the air pollution that is causing a record number of allergies and chest problems, it seems that most people don't care.

Houses and buildings blaze out with light all night, not surpisingly when Qataris get free electricity. The first time I saw recycling bins - each neatly labelled with the type of rubbish that should be thrown in it - they were filled with a complete mixture of garbage and food waste, and each citizen either owns a sports utility or lusts after one. Certainly with fuel at around 20 cents a litre they need not worry about buying more economical cars!

As with democracy in Qatar, it seems that the goverment cares more than the people it governs. Which is better, perhaps, than no one caring about it at all.

Melting iceberg

Iceberg image by Ludovic Hirlimann.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Qatar Visitor Friends

Qatar Jobs

Doha Hotels