Renewables: The brighter solution for the Gulf

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GreenGulf CEO Omran Al Kuwari

GreenGulf is a renewable energy company that develops and manages large-scale renewable energy assets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company has become a pioneer in clean tech research and investment initiatives, having launched the first Shariah-compliant renewable energy fund and developed the world’s most advanced solar research park. Considering how solar panels have become between four and six times cheaper since 2009, Inside Investor asks GreenGulf CEO Omran Al Kuwari how the industry is planning to integrate.

Q: What kind of projects and initiatives is GreenGulf involved in at the moment?

A: On the research side, we are partners with Chevron and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, and we have the most advanced solar research park in the world, which is an ongoing project that we are developing. GreenGulf is currently testing the technologies of 25 companies. In addition to that, in Qatar we have commercially developed the first couple of megawatts of solar power. Now we are developing several more. We are building the first smart-grid system in Education City in Doha, making it the first of its kind in the Gulf region. We are expanding our projects to become large-scale project developers and managers in solar. We have also launched an initiative with First Investor and Barwa to establish the first Shariah-compliant renewable energy fund, looking to invest in clean tech assets. The final phases of this project are currently underway with a focus on offshore wind in Germany. GreenGulf has been very active in the solar, wind and waste-energy sectors in Qatar, the latter of which converts waste into energy. We have grown quite organically with the GCC market since 2009. As advisors, we have worked with organisations involved with the World Cup 2022 and have advised Qatar Foundation as well as international companies looking to enter the Middle East with their strategy. We view ourselves as advisors, as well as pioneers in the cleantech and energy investment space.

Q: Who are your main partners considering the private/public split?

A: The government, who is a large commissioner of projects in this sector, will always push clean tech and global energy in Qatar (as do other governments around the world in their respective countries). We work with governments and semi-governmental organisations on the regulatory side and in terms of our partners and implementation this comes from the private side.

Q: Qatar is one of the largest producers of carbon dioxide in the world per capita due to its position as the largest exporter of LNG. How seriously do you think people in Qatar take green tech?

A: It’s a complicated issue. First of all in terms of emissions per capita, I worked for 10 years in the oil and gas sector so I know where that number comes from. Qatar has a very small population but produces a lot of energy, and as a sector we ship a lot of energy over to countries that would otherwise be dependent on coal, which has a positive impact in the end. Having said that, we have a problem with the waste and consumption, being it water consumed by the residential and industry portions of society, or the volume of energy in general. Carbon emissions are just one part of it. If you look at the attitudes towards clean tech, I think perceptions have changed a lot over the past five years. For example, issues with climate change are becoming more mainstream. Things like Fukushima and Hurricane Katrina are major issues that are beginning to form the topics of debate and conversations On the regional and local levels, there has been a push for more energy-efficient buildings and the World Cup has been a focal point of the creation of a legacy to reduce energy consumption that can be reused. Our neighbours in Abu Dhabi deserve a lot of credit (with their Masdar City). The Qatar National Food Security Programme led by Chairman Fahad Al Attiyah has done a lot to draw attention to the problems we face, and have started to address the food and water crisis that the region is facing. At the educational level, which I think is the most important, you have a lot of initiatives by Kahramaa, for example, that encourage education at the grassroots level. This is an issue that is on the agenda; it’s not just PR.

GreenGulf_QatarQ: Key personalities in Qatar have said that it doesn’t matter where a power project is located, as one day the whole region will be integrated. What are your regional plans for integrated development?

A: We are a regional company. We have an office and partners in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, to really make a difference you have to look at it from a regional perspective. We have major support from the Qatar Foundation and this will continue to be where we develop our know-how from. The vision one day is to be able to export know-how to help develop clean tech infrastructure to countries that are more in need.

Q: Looking forward, do you think the regulations are in place to help development in the renewables sector?

A: I think it is starting to shape up, especially now that you have regulatory bodies within actual ministries to take care of the sector. The good news is that regulations have been around for over 20 years in Europe and other countries so we can look at what has worked best. These can be analysed for which would be best to adapt to the local market, and, in fact, we do a lot of this work.

 

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

GreenGulf CEO Omran Al Kuwari

GreenGulf is a renewable energy company that develops and manages large-scale renewable energy assets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company has become a pioneer in clean tech research and investment initiatives, having launched the first Shariah-compliant renewable energy fund and developed the world’s most advanced solar research park. Considering how solar panels have become between four and six times cheaper since 2009, Inside Investor asks GreenGulf CEO Omran Al Kuwari how the industry is planning to integrate.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Omran2
GreenGulf CEO Omran Al Kuwari

GreenGulf is a renewable energy company that develops and manages large-scale renewable energy assets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company has become a pioneer in clean tech research and investment initiatives, having launched the first Shariah-compliant renewable energy fund and developed the world’s most advanced solar research park. Considering how solar panels have become between four and six times cheaper since 2009, Inside Investor asks GreenGulf CEO Omran Al Kuwari how the industry is planning to integrate.

Q: What kind of projects and initiatives is GreenGulf involved in at the moment?

A: On the research side, we are partners with Chevron and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, and we have the most advanced solar research park in the world, which is an ongoing project that we are developing. GreenGulf is currently testing the technologies of 25 companies. In addition to that, in Qatar we have commercially developed the first couple of megawatts of solar power. Now we are developing several more. We are building the first smart-grid system in Education City in Doha, making it the first of its kind in the Gulf region. We are expanding our projects to become large-scale project developers and managers in solar. We have also launched an initiative with First Investor and Barwa to establish the first Shariah-compliant renewable energy fund, looking to invest in clean tech assets. The final phases of this project are currently underway with a focus on offshore wind in Germany. GreenGulf has been very active in the solar, wind and waste-energy sectors in Qatar, the latter of which converts waste into energy. We have grown quite organically with the GCC market since 2009. As advisors, we have worked with organisations involved with the World Cup 2022 and have advised Qatar Foundation as well as international companies looking to enter the Middle East with their strategy. We view ourselves as advisors, as well as pioneers in the cleantech and energy investment space.

Q: Who are your main partners considering the private/public split?

A: The government, who is a large commissioner of projects in this sector, will always push clean tech and global energy in Qatar (as do other governments around the world in their respective countries). We work with governments and semi-governmental organisations on the regulatory side and in terms of our partners and implementation this comes from the private side.

Q: Qatar is one of the largest producers of carbon dioxide in the world per capita due to its position as the largest exporter of LNG. How seriously do you think people in Qatar take green tech?

A: It’s a complicated issue. First of all in terms of emissions per capita, I worked for 10 years in the oil and gas sector so I know where that number comes from. Qatar has a very small population but produces a lot of energy, and as a sector we ship a lot of energy over to countries that would otherwise be dependent on coal, which has a positive impact in the end. Having said that, we have a problem with the waste and consumption, being it water consumed by the residential and industry portions of society, or the volume of energy in general. Carbon emissions are just one part of it. If you look at the attitudes towards clean tech, I think perceptions have changed a lot over the past five years. For example, issues with climate change are becoming more mainstream. Things like Fukushima and Hurricane Katrina are major issues that are beginning to form the topics of debate and conversations On the regional and local levels, there has been a push for more energy-efficient buildings and the World Cup has been a focal point of the creation of a legacy to reduce energy consumption that can be reused. Our neighbours in Abu Dhabi deserve a lot of credit (with their Masdar City). The Qatar National Food Security Programme led by Chairman Fahad Al Attiyah has done a lot to draw attention to the problems we face, and have started to address the food and water crisis that the region is facing. At the educational level, which I think is the most important, you have a lot of initiatives by Kahramaa, for example, that encourage education at the grassroots level. This is an issue that is on the agenda; it’s not just PR.

GreenGulf_QatarQ: Key personalities in Qatar have said that it doesn’t matter where a power project is located, as one day the whole region will be integrated. What are your regional plans for integrated development?

A: We are a regional company. We have an office and partners in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, to really make a difference you have to look at it from a regional perspective. We have major support from the Qatar Foundation and this will continue to be where we develop our know-how from. The vision one day is to be able to export know-how to help develop clean tech infrastructure to countries that are more in need.

Q: Looking forward, do you think the regulations are in place to help development in the renewables sector?

A: I think it is starting to shape up, especially now that you have regulatory bodies within actual ministries to take care of the sector. The good news is that regulations have been around for over 20 years in Europe and other countries so we can look at what has worked best. These can be analysed for which would be best to adapt to the local market, and, in fact, we do a lot of this work.

 

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