Expat bakes cookies, shows way forward
At least one person in the Gulf is making use of our vast solar resources.
August 19, 2010 1:33 by shafeer
An American expat in Qatar has found a novel way to harness the blazing summer heat, according to Gulf Times. She has used the sun’s rays to turn her car into an oven, and has baked some cookies.
“I found a good use for Qatar’s blazing desert sun,” Texan Sybil wrote in her blog. She managed her feat in July, during which the highest temperature in four decades was recorded in Doha – 50.4 degrees Celsius.
“First, I had to preheat the ‘oven,’ so I parked the Tahoe out on the road facing the afternoon to evening sun,” Sybil wrote in her blog.
Then she mixed all the ingredients, spooned and dropped the dough onto the cookie sheets, and placed them on two cookie trays on the dashboard of the “preheated oven,” says the paper.
“I went about my business and oh, just about three hours later… voila the cookies were ready, slightly crispy on the outside and just a little gooey on the inside. In other words, perfect. Put on a pot of coffee and enjoy,” Sybil added.
This fun little story had two effects on Kipp. Firstly, made us want to make some cookies, and secondly, made us want to pull our hair out in frustration. If this woman can find such a simple way to harness a tiny fraction of the energy the Gulf receives from the sun, why can’t the mega-rich governments do similar?
Despite the incredible amount of energy falling on the region every day, the penetration of solar power is none existent. Kipp concedes the technology is expensive and nascent, but thinks this is only one part of the equation. Huge domestic supplies of oil, providing cheaper and easier power sources, are probably a bigger reason solar power is not in use here. And now the UAE, for instance, is preparing to generate nuclear power – another “easier” option.
How about (while we still have some oil and some money) we throw the cash into solar development. Surely in the years it would take for the nuclear sites to come on line we could have cracked solar power instead?
With enough resources anything is possible. It shouldn’t be only American expats with hot cars and baking trays making breakthroughs in harnessing power from the Sun.