(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency)Under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, HE Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada, inaugurated on Monday evening the 4th General Conference of Arab Union of Electricity and the Seminar on "Investment Opportunities in Industries Related to the Electricity Sector in the Arab Countries" and the "Seventh Exhibition of Electrical Equipment and Installations in the Arab World".
The event is organized by Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA), the Arab Union of Electricity and the Arab League. Its opening ceremony was attended by a number of Arab ministers along with Turkish energy minister, in addition to a number of their excellencies sheikhs and ambassadors accredited to Qatar .
In a speech during the opening session, HE Dr Al Sada said this important Arab event, under the slogan "Renewable Energy and Smart Grid: Future Solutions of Electric Power" is held in light of many challenges facing economic and social development projects in various Arab countries and on the global level.
The world, he said, is still affected by the global economic crisis which its impact is evident in the declining economic growth rates in most countries of the world except for the GCC member states that are still experiencing unprecedented growth even if the global economic slowdown had a relative impact on them.
HE the Minister of Energy and Industry added that the sources of wealth driven mainly from hydrocarbon resources, coupled with the strenuous efforts being made in those countries to diversify economic sectors, including industry projects related to urban development, have actively contributed to consolidating the economic position of those countries, including Qatar, which is witnessing a remarkable economic growth in light of the policy pursued by the wise leadership of the State of Qatar.HE Al Sada cited as diversification of economic sectors the petrochemical and manufacturing industries, the investment in food security , cooperation between the public and private sectors and management of the water and electricity sector.
He also cited the country's alternative energy projects , including research and solar energy projects as being in line with the national development strategy for 2011 and 2016.
He noted that Kahrama has started an initiative to produce electricity from alternative energy , a project supported by the ministry of energy and industry. The project will produce 200 megawatt of electricity from solar energy in two phases,he said.
Bids for engineering , construction, operation and maintenance of the project will be offered in the first quarter of this year, Al Sada said.
He called for thoughtful consideration of renewable energy projects on the Arab level and the setting up of an Arab authority that would lay down a five-year plan for research and development of renewable energy projects and encouraging scientific research in this sector.