Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) is developing a network of 13 solar radiation monitoring stations which will enable precise mapping of solar resources across Qatar. The project will be implemented in collaboration with Qatar Meteorological Department (QMD). QEERI is part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
Solar resource assessment (SRA) is the analysis and study of the solar radiation potential at a particular site or within a specific region. The assessment helps decision-makers estimate with high precision how much energy can be produced from solar power applications positioned at the study location.
QEERI first launched its work on SRA in 2012 in Education City, with one monitoring station measuring solar radiation and other meteorological parameters. Over the past five years, QEERI’s SRA capabilities have evolved and expanded to include a satellite receiving station to enable the spatial estimation of solar radiation and long-term modelling of solar resources across the country.
The information provided by QEERI SRA facilities help stakeholders identify locations with high solar energy potential, deploy the most appropriate solar technologies, plan for grid integration based on spatial and temporal variability, manage solar energy integration in the grid, and carry out an economic assessment of solar energy investments.
According to Dr Veronica Bermudez, Senior Research Director at QEERI, reliable and precise information on solar resource availability and associated meteorological parameters are essential to adopting and developing solar energy power infrastructures.
QEERI plays a major role in helping enable the adoption of solar energy systems. Its solar radiation measurement and modelling facilities will make high-quality and valuable solar resource information available, to ensure the introduction of cost-effective solar energy power systems.
QMD Director Abdulla Al Mannai added that QEERI is a key collaborator for QMR. He said that the SRA stations are not only of high value for solar power plant developers and operators, and grid management, it will also help improve weather forecasting. QEERI scientist Dr Luis M Pomares said the network of radiometric stations deployed in Qatar will guarantee high-quality measurements.
Solar Radiation data has multiple applications which can help improve the quality of life of people living in Qatar. With the QEERI network of solar monitoring stations operational, the institute will now be able to produce a high-resolution database and maps of Qatar’s solar resources.
The project, along with other SRA facilities at QEERI, can provide an excellent capacity-building platform for local stakeholders.
For updates and more information about QEERI and their SRA facilities, visit the HBKU website through this link.