As part of its Meet the Expert series,  Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a member of Qatar Foundation, recently hosted a panel discussion bringing together local and global experts from industry and academia to discuss how digital solutions help manage the complexity of electrical networks to achieve sustainable energy transition.

Delivered by  Iberdrola Innovation Middle East, a world-leading innovation center – housed at QSTP – that develops innovative digital solutions to address critical energy challenges, the session highlighted the value of collaborations between researchers, innovators, and industry leaders to build resilience and stability in electrical networks.

“One of the key challenges to integrate increasing amounts of renewable energy is to ensure the continuous balance between generation and demand and therefore the stability of the energy system. Innovation in digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud and Edge Computing, or Generative AI is crucial to solve this puzzle. These technologies help energy companies, network operators, retailers, and consumers to predict the future state of the energy system and hence act in advance to achieve the full decarbonization of the energy value chain,” Santiago Bañales, Managing Director of Iberdrola Innovation Middle East, highlighted.

The session featured talks from international experts including Elena León Muñoz from Iberdrola Corporate and former Iberdrola Global Head of Networks. Muñoz highlighted that the electrification of demand is a key element of the energy transition, stating that “global demand for electricity should double between now and 2050 to achieve the net-zero emission scenario; hence, investment in networks should match the expected renewable generation investment to a level up to $ 600 B/year in 2030 and $ 800 B/year in 2031-2040.”

Dr. Agustí Egea-Alvarez, Associate Professor at the University of Strathclyde and Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowship holder at Scottish Power Networks, highlighted the collaborative research between Scottish Power Networks, Qatari universities, and Iberdrola Innovation Middle East to ensure network stability in the United Kingdom networks given the increasing share of renewables in the system.

Other speakers at the session included Dr. Luluwah Al Fagih, Associate Professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, a member of QF; Dr. Haitham Abu-Rub, Professor, Texas A&M University at Qatar, a QF partner university; and Nader Meskin, Professor, Qatar University. The panelists discussed the role of digital innovation in addressing challenges around network support, network expansion, system stability, and hosting capacity. They spotlighted their collaboration with Iberdrola Innovation Middle East for specific research and development projects centered on network enhancements using advanced digital technologies.

Ahmed Al-Said, Park & Free Zone Management Director at QSTP, commented: “Heightened concerns around climate change and reaching net-zero emissions have demanded stronger reliance on renewable energy resources. However, integrating these sources of energy comes with a set of challenges that require continuous research and innovation. This session demonstrated the pivotal role of technology development, specifically in electrical networks, in accelerating the sustainable development of an energy-efficient future for all.”

QSTP’s Meet the Expert series convenes local and international experts, industry leaders, academics, and researchers to underline best practices and technology-driven solutions focused on areas of strategic importance to Qatar. The series aims to boost innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve Qatar’s economic diversification and sustainability-centered goals.

To learn more about the series, including upcoming sessions, please visit: