Omran Al-Kuwari: One billion worldwide without access to electricity. Innovative energy technologies help fill the supply gap


Cambridge, USA – 14 Apr 2012: Omran Al-Kuwari, CEO of Qatar-based clean technology advisory and development company GreenGulf Inc. (GreenGulf), discussed the world's energy needs and how they might be resolved at the 18th Annual International Development Conference (IDC) at the Harvard Kennedy School campus in Massachusetts, USA.

GreenGulf hosted a "Learning Lunch" at the conference, where Al-Kuwari offered information on access to electricity globally and current and potential solutions for the 1 billion people worldwide with no electricity.

The presentation, titled "Renewable energy in the developing world", touched upon the lack of access to electricity for many people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in particular. Al-Kuwari also offered examples of innovative renewable energy technologies currently being used to fill this gap in different parts of the developing world and what is ultimately required for a definitive solution.

"Over a seventh of the world's population is without power, and most of these are in North Africa and South Asia, areas that are close to home for us" Al-Kuwari offered during the presentation, adding, "a number of inspiring and innovative projects have been designed to help bring power to some of these communities, but there is still a long way to go".

The annual conference on development, this year titled "7 Billion: Development in a New World", brought together the world's leading academics, practitioners and policy-makers to reflect on current trends in development and articulate the most effective approaches moving forward.

The GreenGulf CEO discussed the gap between what is required and what is available in terms of investment, stating: "The World Bank estimates that $860 billion is needed to achieve universal access by 2030. These figures are far above the current levels of investment, especially in developing countries with other social, political and economic issues to consider".

The presentation took existing example from South Asia and North Africa where alternative energy sources, such as Biofuel, wind energy and solar power were being used in rural communities. These options are appropriate for populations living in areas far from the existing power grid, or where the demand is too small to justify the fixed cost of extending the grid.

"We are excited to be taking part in this conference, and to have the opportunity to share with these experts from around the world the current state of access to electricity and how we might be able to work together to help resolve these issues" Al-Kuwari said.

Raquel Fernandez and Vivian Lu, Vice Chairs of Finance, IDC, offered their thanks in a joint statement: "Mr. Al-Kuwari's well-attended presentation on renewable energy in the developing world was especially relevant to this year's International Development Conference at Harvard. The transfer of clean energy technologies to the developing world will require the partnership of government agencies, private sector firms, and international organizations. Only through this collaboration will developing countries be able to advance renewable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable energy practices in a world of 7 billion."

GreenGulf, the first private clean technology company in the Middle East and North Africa region, has been involved in a number of successful endeavours since their launch in 2008. The company's focus revolves around three central points: consulting and advising, project development and principal investment.


About GreenGulf inc.

GreenGulf is a Qatar-based business focused on renewable energy and clean technologies. Launched in 2008, it provides advisory and development services on solar and other renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Solar Test Facility project was announced on March 18, 2009, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation.

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