Technology key for sustainability
H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah outlined that technology is key to sustainability during a recent speech in Japan
H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, chairman of Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development has said that technology is key to sustainability.
Delivering a speech at the closing plenary session at Science and Technology in Society Forum (STS) Kyoto, Japan, 6 October, Al Attiyah stated that in the future, sustainable energy is significant given the environmental implications of meeting the world’s soaring energy demands.
He noted that the world’s growing energy demands suggest that energy-related technologies with near-zero emissions will ultimately be required to ensure sustainability.
“In Qatar, we understand that economic development must be based on the implementation of new technology which often involves challenges; however, meeting these challenges has become necessary in order to thrive in an increasingly competitive market”, Al Attiyah said.
Accordingly, there is a pressing need for extensive research, development, and initiation of programmes aimed at launching advanced energy technologies, he said.
Al Attiyah, who is also the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, noted that the country had achieved a fundamental milestone for the LNG industry by scaling up liquefaction trains to a record new level using Air Products’ proprietary APX process technology, The Peninsula reported.
Currently six out of the 14 LNG trains have the capacity to produce 7.8 million tonnes per annum, making them the world’s largest LNG trains ever built. This technology has reduced unit costs to a level unequalled by other producers, giving Qatar a competitive edge in global markets.
Some of these technologies, he added, are readily available, including the technological revolution in power generation where natural-gas-fired combined cycles is offering low costs, high efficiency and low environmental impact. Modern gas-fired power plants emit 50% less carbon dioxide than coal plants, while being 40% more energy efficient.
Emerging innovations offer the potential to use conventional sources of energy, mainly fossil fuels, in ways that are cleaner, more efficient, safer, flexible and affordable, while entrepreneurs and small companies have the potential to provide innovative solutions and are seen as the key to releasing the potential of an even more technology driven energy era.
In this regard, the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) offers a unique business environment for start-up enterprises in the areas of energy, environment, health sciences and ICT.
In cooperation with international corporations, large research programmes have been launched and Al Attiyah outlined that new opportunities to work together to take advantage of human ingenuity in the fields of energy and environment, are welcome.
“It is becoming increasingly important to develop technologies that enable us to achieve sustainable economic development in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
“The issue of water provision will be one of the greatest challenges of the twenty first century. This is indeed an emotive subject in the Middle East,” he said.