• 15 mins Iraq Wants To Build Gas Pipeline To Kuwait In Blow To Shell
  • 2 hours Trader Trafigura Raises Share Of Oil Purchases From State Firms
  • 4 hours German Energy Group Uniper Rejects $9B Finnish Takeover Bid
  • 5 hours Total Could Lose Big If It Pulls Out Of South Pars Deal
  • 7 hours Dakota Watchdog Warns It Could Revoke Keystone XL Approval
  • 1 day Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 1 day Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 1 day Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 1 day Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 1 day Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 1 day Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 1 day Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 1 day U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 2 days Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 2 days Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 2 days South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 2 days Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 2 days Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 2 days Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 2 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 5 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 5 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 5 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 5 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 5 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 5 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 5 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 6 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 6 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 6 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 6 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 6 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 6 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 6 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 7 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 7 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 7 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 7 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 7 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 7 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
Alt Text

Solar Costs Are Dropping Much Faster Than Expected

The U.S. Department of Energy…

Alt Text

Is The U.S. Solar Boom In Jeopardy?

The Trump administration is weighing…

Alt Text

Ambitious Solar Project Takes Root In Tunisia

This small northern-African nation could…

Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, which publishes economic intelligence on the markets of the Middle East, Africa, Asia…

More Info

Solar Gaining Traction In Oil-Rich Qatar

Solar

Production begins at major solar plant

At the end of March, Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) – a joint venture (JV) between Qatar Solar (a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation), Germany’s SolarWorld AG and Qatar Development Bank – announced that the first polysilicon had been produced at its new production plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City, 80 km north of Doha. Polysilicon is a high-purity form of silicon and a key component in a range of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

The factory, which is currently in the final stages of being commissioned, will have an annual production capacity of 8000 tonnes and is expected to start exporting later this year.

Speaking to OBG, Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri, chairman and CEO of QSTec, said that the plant’s polysilicon would initially be for export to meet global demand for high-purity, Tier 1 polysilicon.

Al Hajri went on to say that he sees the facility’s initial production capacity as just the first phase and expects it to move up to as much as 50,0000 tonnes per annum over time.

The plant has also been designed with sustainability in mind, possessing 1.1 MW of solar generation capacity and waste treatment facilities to recycle excess gases and water.

“I am very positive about the growth potential of solar energy and research in Qatar and across the MENA region. We have the perfect climatic conditions, and the government has shown the will to diversify its energy mix,” Al Hajri told OBG. Related: Oil Crashes Into $40’s As Hedge Funds Sell Off

PV demand

The projected increase in polysilicon output over time is likely to be matched by growing demand for PV technology. According to the latest “Global Power Industry Outlook” from research consultancy Frost & Sullivan, solar photovoltaic will be the energy sector’s highest growth area this year, with investment forecast to increase by 11.5 percent to €141.6bn.

The MENA region is itself a strong market for PV products, where increased awareness of the need to diversify the energy mix prompted investments in solar projects to grow from $160m in 2010 to $3.5bn in 2015.

Broader vision

Qatar will be looking to maintain this momentum in renewable power generation as it continues to pursue its long-term strategy plan, Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to fill an expected growth in power demand while simultaneously increasing the sustainability of the country’s energy mix.

Between 2006 and 2016, power and water consumption recorded average growth rates of 10.4 percent and 7.7 percent a year, respectively, according to data released by Qatar Electricity and Water Company (Kahramaa), the country’s main utilities regulator.

Furthermore, research conducted last year by the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation shows that Qatar will need to attract $9bn in its power sector between 2016 and 2020 to keep pace with electricity demands.

Power supply

One upcoming project that is set to fulfil part of this need is a 200-MW solar power plant being developed by Siraj Power – a JV between Kahramaa and Qatar Petroleum, which has provided $500m in start-up capital for the project.

Construction of the facility is scheduled to start in June, with plans already in place to expand the project’s capacity to 500 MW in the future.

Continuing to attract investments of this scale should not pose too difficult an obstacle, as Qatar’s location is ideal for future solar projects. According to the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the annual solar energy potential of each square kilometre of Qatari soil is equivalent to 1.5m barrels of oil.

Related: How Far Will OPEC Go For $60 Oil?

Multiple applications

Qatar has also been encouraging the use of solar technology in the urban environment.

Several large-scale developments are deploying rooftop solar installations as part of their energy infrastructure, including Mshereib Downtown Doha, a sustainable downtown regeneration project; Lusail City, a planned city on the coast north of Doha; and Energy City, an integrated energy hub being built between Lusail City and the capital.

Five of the FIFA 2022 World Cup stadiums are also slated to use pioneering solar-powered cooling technology.

Speaking to media in July last year, Khalid Al Subai, acting executive director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, underlined the potential for rooftop solar solutions in Qatar, with electricity demand closely tracking solar intensity during the hottest months of the year.

“Thus, rooftop solar becomes very cost effective in lowering peak electricity demand, which is very important to Qatar’s utilities,” he said.

By Oxford Business Group

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News