Having the highest CO2 emissions per capita worldwide, Qatar seeks to expand its renewable energy efforts.
Siemens will supply Qatar Solar Energy (QSE) with the regions first microgrid manufactured for industrial use. Qatar is trying to curb its carbon footprint, minimise electricity costs, and enjoy a more stable power supply.
The new microgrid at the Doha-based QSE factory will entail energy sources, which include the local grid, solar panels, battery storage, back-up generators and cooling system, according to reports.
With the system generating as much as one megawatts from the sun, the hybrid network will enable QSE to cut down on its electricity bills by leveraging the use of solar power and energy storage in batteries, a move through which the company will enjoy an influx of on-peak demand.
What is a microgrid?
A microgrid is a self-sufficient energy system that serves a discrete geographic footprint, such as college campuses, business centers, and neighbourhoods.
“This project will be a showcase for Siemens to demonstrate its grid edge capabilities and the value it brings to industrial customers and buildings by helping them to lower energy costs, rein in carbon emissions and ensure a more dependable power supply,” said CEO of Siemens in the Middle East, Helmut von Struve.
Siemens will provide the microgrid’s control panel, power meters, photovoltaic inverters, which is a type of electrical converter and Siemens software for Distributed Energy Optimization to supervise the network’s energy flow. Through their manufacture of solar panels and related electronic equipment, QSE aims to transform the Qatar into a leading international hub of renewable energy technology developments source.
The Siemens provided energy system will be the first at an industrial site in the Middle East to be connected to a conventional power grid. The microgrid is regarded as an exemplar for other regional businesses and companies that are looking to diminish their operation expenses while simultaneously “contributing to the fight against climate change,” the report said.
Siemens deployed their first ever microgrid in a non-industrial field in the Middle East back in 2020 in Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University.
“QSE is committed to providing innovative products that will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in Qatar and around the world,” noted QSE’s Chairman, Salim Abbassi.
“By deploying this microgrid from Siemens, we will prove that clean power is reliable and affordable at an industrial scale, and this enables us to press ahead with our growth strategy in the expanding market for renewable energy,” he added.
Qatar and renewable energy
In 2014, QSE launched one of the largest facilities for the development and manufacture of solar energy panels in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Omran Al-Kuwari, CEO of Qatar Foundation International and Climate Tech and Energy Transition VC advisor, in a lecture back in 2014 at Center for International and Regional Studies, explained that Qatar is the only country in the GCC that can supply all of its power entirely from gas.
With that being the case, Al-Kuwari argues, the model is “ultimately unsustainable as these countries are burning their own oil, which leads to loss of export revenue, the rapid depletion of the resource, as well as increased pollution.” Renewable energy is thus seen as a necessity.
The necessity of renewable energy in the Gulf is rooted in an economic perspective, irrespective of the environmental advantages renewable energy bears, he argues. With oil and gas reserves gradually depleting, renewable energy is seen as the only “viable alternative” for many of the regional countries.