Qatar plans to build around 1,000 megawatts of solar power in a bid to diversify its energy mix away from hydrocarbons, the general manager of the state utility has revealed.
In December last year, Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) said it will hold 60% of a new solar power joint venture with Qatar Petroleum (QP).
The two shareholders will provide $500m of start-up capital, Fahd al-Mohannadi revealed on the sidelines of QEWC's annual shareholder meeting.
Mohannadi said international companies will be invited to back 40% of each project through a competitive tender process.
"We dediced to do it based on the fact that producing power from solar is cheaper than buying gas from the international market," he said.
Abdulsattar al-Rasheed, business development director at QEWC, said the set-up of the joint venture is expected to be complete by the end of this year or early in 2017.
Oil-exporting countries in the Gulf are starting to develop solar power, citing environmental reasons as well as a desire to conserve oil and gas reserves for export in the future.
In the UAE, two projects are expected to be tendered this year - creating 1,150MW when fully operational.
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