Originally published on EdenKeeper.org.
Sitting under a tent in the bright, clean sunshine of Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser listened intently as His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani shared an inspiration with her. It was early 1995, and together the noble couple conceived a plan for the post-carbon, cleantech future of their country. Envisioning a land of greater choice in education, health, and social progress for all of the citizens of Qatar, from that moment forward they set out to accomplish these goals.
Founded in August of that same year, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development became the means of turning the loftily conceived inspiration into a reality. Chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the private, non-profit Qatar Foundation is leading the way in the nation’s human, social, and economic development. Utilizing education, science and research, and community development, Qatar Foundation is promoting productive and sustainable change in the region.
Qatar National Vision 2030
Published in July 2008, the Qatar National Vision 2030 outlines how Qatar will use the huge revenues from its vast hydrocarbon resources to transform the nation into a modern, post-carbon, knowledge-based economy. Qatar Foundation is the mandated engine driving the people of Qatar to this clean energy future. The Foundation recognizes education as the key to developing the necessary human resources for a sustained and successful future.
As His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani states, “The new world educational system recognizes that education is a universal right and hence enables students wherever they might be to have access to the means of innovation, creativity, acquisition of knowledge and expertise and the practice of responsibility.”
Representing in microcosm all of the changes that have occurred over the past two decades in Qatar, the Qatar Foundation has now grown into a vast network. Over 80 world-renowned universities and internationally acclaimed organizations focus on everything from international development to community health, and to preserving Qatar’s cultural and architectural heritage. Internationally known as Education City, the 2,500-acre multiversity with nearly 4,000 students of 90 nationalities is the Qatar Foundation Headquarters, and is both literally and figuratively the heart of Qatar.
Entering the Solar Energy Era
Springing from the Qatar Foundation Research and Development wing in Education City, the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) encourages companies and institutes from around the world to develop and commercialize their clean technology in Qatar. QSTP is also Qatar’s primary incubator for technology development, helping entrepreneurs launch their technology businesses.
Hosting a recent TECHtalk series, featuring high-profile experts from Qatar’s renewable energy sector, QSTP invited Mr. Omran Al Kuwari, cofounder and CEO of GreenGulf, and Dr. Mohammad Khaleel, Executive Director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI).
Founded in 2009, GreenGulf, a successful Qatari startup launched by QSTP, is responsible for 3.5 MW of Qatar’s 4 MW total installed solar capacity. From the country’s first solar photovoltaic (PV) system, installed by GreenGulf on the roof of the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), CEO Al Kuwari noted that solar initiatives have gained momentum and the solar industry is rapidly multiplying.