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Solar power to aid World Cup 2022?

7th Dec 2012

The Fifa 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar - but naysayers have argued that the tournament could suffer due to the country's sweltering heat.

Last hosted by South Africa in 2010 (and won by Spain, for those who are interested), the international soccer event traditionally takes place in summer, but temperatures in Qatar can reach up to 40 degrees C during the season's peak.

However, government officials have claimed all is not lost, as the country will be embarking on an extensive campaign to install up to 1,800 MW of solar power systems in stadiums within the next ten years.

And, according to Renew Economy's Giles Parkinson, while this may be a tough task for a nation that currently has next to no solar installations - Qatar is determined to try. 

The plan is pretty simple. Turn on air conditioners and blast them into the stadium - with hopes of lowering the temperature to a much more manageable 27 degrees C.

Fans will be slightly worse off (especially those in the higher seats) as they will need to withstand levels of around 35 degrees C due to the hot air rising.

But it's not going to be all great for the world's most elite footballers - while they have extensive indoor training facilities, the full-size outdoor pitches will not have air con.

In the stadiums, however, these units will be powered entirely by the sun, with an initial 200 MW project already up for tender.

Qatari energy minister Dr Mohamed Saleh al-Sada outlined the country's motives for moving towards more sustainable solutions - and it's not entirely altruistic.

"We want to produce more clean energy to save burning natural gas in power plants, which we can sell at higher prices globally," he was quoted by Bloomberg as stating.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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