In order to advance the shift towards renewable energy for sustainability, Qatar aims to have solar power account for 30 per cent of the country’s total electricity production by 2030, according to a senior official.
Mohammad Saleh Al Ashqar, Senior Engineer at the National Control Center (NCC) within Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), explained that while Qatar predominantly relies on gas-fired thermal plants for electricity, the introduction of renewable energy began with the Al Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant (KSPP).
Currently, KSPP, which commenced operations ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, meets approximately 7 per cent of the total electricity demand. Al Ashqar also mentioned ongoing projects with partners like QatarEnergy to generate more solar energy, with the aim of reaching 30 per cent of the country’s total electricity production in alignment with Qatar National Vision 2030.
Regarding Kahramaa’s preparedness for potential failures, Al Ashqar noted the presence of reserves that can be deployed rapidly, both instantaneously and within a short timeframe. He highlighted the connection of Qatar’s electricity network with the GCC Grid, providing crucial external support for power stability. To address increased power demand during the summer, Kahramaa develops maintenance plans in the winter months when demand is lower.
Al Ashqar stressed that summer consumption can surge by over 50 per cent compared to winter, primarily due to the use of air conditioners, which account for about 70 per cent of household electricity consumption. He encouraged citizens and residents to participate in the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency (Tarsheed) to promote responsible electricity and water usage, reduce carbon emissions, and contribute to sustainability.
The Al Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant (KSPP) is a significant solar project in Qatar, boasting a total capacity of 800 megawatts and utilizing sun-tracking technology to optimize daily energy production. It aligns with QatarEnergy’s Sustainability Strategy, which emphasizes clean and affordable energy production, carbon capture and storage, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions to support the energy transition.