Qatar (2012)

Source: REEEP Policy Database (contributed by SERN for REEEP)

This policy & regulatory overview is not updated anymore since 2015. We decided to keep it online due to high demand but would like to make you aware of the fact that it might be outdated.

Energy sources

Total Installed Electricity Capacity (2009): 3.89 GWe
Natural Gas: 100%

Total Primary Energy Supply (2009): 23,825 ktoe
Natural Gas: 82.0%
Crude Oil: 18.0%

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Net Exports (2007): 79,987 ktoe

Qatar is a net exporter of energy sources, most notably in the form of crude oil and natural gas. Qatar is a member of the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC). Qatar's natural gas reserve is the third-largest in the world. Though only producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) since 1997, Qatar is now the world’s largest supplier of LNG. Qatar is also a member and host country for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), an organization formed in 2001 to promote the interest of the world’s major gas producers. Qatar is, however, dependent on other countries for technological expertise in the energy sector, notably the United Kingdom.

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Extend network

Access to electricity across the country is at 95%.

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Capacity concerns

Electricity demand in Qatar has grown rapidly in recent years, and the government expects demand to continue growing at double-digit rates. Primary energy demand per capita stands at 26.54 toe, one of the highest in the world.

Electricity generation shortfalls led the Qatari government to encourage greater foreign investment through independent power projects (IPPs) and to begin restructuring the power sector.

Oil production will not long remain at peak levels of 500,000 barrels (80,000 m³) per day, as oil fields are projected to be mostly depleted by 2023.

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Renewable energy

Solar energy
With an average daily horizontal irradiance of 5.8 kWh/m2, Qatar is well-placed to utilise solar energy. Qatar announced a USD1 billion solar power plant project in 2010 to generate at least 10MW of solar power within five years. The joint venture, Qatar Solar Technologies (QST), is between Qatar Foundation (70%) which will invest over USD 500 million, a German company, SolarWorld (29%), which is currently developing the country's first poly-silicon plant for production of photovoltaic cells, and the Qatar Development Bank (1%). In addition, Qatar will build three brand new Green Stadium and update two existing ones in order to host the World Cup 2022 games using solar technology.

Wind energy
Qatar has moderate wind power generation opportunities (5-7 m/s). With 3.9 hours of full-load wind on average daily, Qatar has a reasonable potential for wind energy. Wind turbine installations are being considered on the Qatar-Bahrain causeway in an effort to improve project sustainability.

Geothermal energy
Qatar has a reasonable geothermal potential, with the efforts of the country to acquire expertise in the field to develop their resource being praised by one of the world's main geothermal powers, Iceland.

There are significant financial incentives available for the successful adoption of aviation biofuels. Qatar Airways has not yet specified feedstocks, but has announced the start of a project with Verno Systems, a US biofuels firm.

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Energy efficiency

Qatar has one of the highest primary energy demands per capita in the world, and with rapid modernisation plans, this is set to rise further. In 2008, Qatar’s total primary energy consumption almost doubled since 2001. This rapid growth was driven by the similarly rapid growth of its economy. In fact, Qatar’s energy intensity increased by less than 5% over that same period.

Industry is by far the largest consumer of energy in the country, due to the petrochemicals industry, large steel and fertiliser production plants. In 2009, Qatar consumed 14,230 ktoe of energy. By sector, industry consumed the most at 5,277 ktoe, followed by transport sector at 2,126 ktoe, residential sector at 530 ktoe and commercial and public services at 329 ktoe. By source, natural gas contributed the most at 7,159 ktoe, followed by oil products at 5,274 ktoe and electricity at 1,797 ktoe. 

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Electricity market
Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) has operated as an independent corporation on a commercial basis. The Board of directors is granted extensive authority to achieve the corporation's goals.

The Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC, a Qatari Shareholding Company founded in 1990 in accordance with the provisions of the Commercial Companies Law, for the purpose of acquiring and managing power generation and water desalination stations and sell its products. Approximately 43% of the shares of the company are owned by the Government and 57% are owned by companies and individuals. The QEWC owns and operates power plants and desalination stations, meets consumption needs of the country and sells its products to the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation on the terms and conditions agreed between the parties by Power and Water Purchase Agreements. The QEWC owns 80% of the shares of Ras Laffan Power Company, 55% of Q Power Project, 45% of Ras Girtas Power Company.

Oil and gas market
State-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP,, created in 1974, controls all aspects of Qatar’s upstream and downstream oil sector. The principal activities of Qatar Petroleum and its subsidiaries and joint ventures cover exploration, drilling and production operations, transport, storage, marketing and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, gas-to-liquids, refined products, petrochemicals and fertilizers, and helicopter and financial services. While QP owns and operates the onshore Dukhan field and the offshore Maydan Mahzam and Bul Hanine fields, the remaining offshore fields are operated by international oil companies via productions sharing agreements (PSAs). In an effort to increase production and reserves, QP has offered more favorable terms for PSAs in recent years, in order to increase oil revenues and mitigate gas-related capital expenditures.

Qatar Fuel (WOQOD, was formed in 2002 as a joint stock company listed in the Doha Security exchange. The company was formed from the fuels storage and distribution assets owned at that time by Qatar Petroleum under the name of NODCO (National Oil Distribution Company), which is the major shareholder. The company is responsible for the distribution of all fuels as well as all LPG within Qatar.

In the gas sector, QP plays a dominant role, leading upstream and downstream projects. Qatar’s focus on natural gas development tends to be integrated large-scale projects linked to LNG exports or downstream industries that utilize natural gas as a feedstock and therefore, foreign company involvement has favored international oil companies with the technology and expertise in integrated mega-projects, including ExxonMobil, Shell, and Total.

Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas,, established in 1984, pioneered the LNG industry in Qatar and is the largest LNG producer in the world. Qatargas operates gas production and refining. The Qatargas consortium includes QP, Total, ExxonMobil, Mitsui, Marubeni, ConocoPhillips, and Shell. Each venture has an individual ownership structure, though QP owns at least 65% of all the above ventures.

RasGas Company Limited (RasGas, is a Qatari joint stock company established in 2001 by QP (70%) and ExxonMobil (30%).

Close Ownership


KAHRAMAA is the sole transmission and distribution system operator for electricity, and the sole purchaser of electricity generation. KAHRAMAA is primarily state-funded and controlled. The QEWC is responsible for installing new generating capacity, and is 57% privately-held.

QP is the state-owned utility in the oil sector, and is the majority shareholder (40%) in WOQOD. Distribution is unbundled, and the responsibility of WOQOD.

QP is also the major shareholder in QatarGas, although private entities (ExxonMobil etc.) hold a large proportion of the company stocks. RasGas is 70% owned by QP, and both firms are vertically-integrated.

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Energy framework

There is no specific policy framework dedicated to renewable energy in Qatar; however the country is opting for huge investment and utility of renewable energy.

The Qatar National Vision 2030 outlines Qatar’s long-term vision by providing a framework within which national strategies and implementation plans can be developed. The QNV 2030 outlines five overarching national goals:

  1. Modernization and preservation of traditions
  2. Intergenerational justice
  3. Managed growth and expansion
  4. Building up the know-how and quality of the workforce and selecting the optimum path of development
  5. Economic growth, social development and environmental management

The QNV foresees Qatar's development through four interconnected pillars including human development, social development, economic development, and environmental development.

The Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 is the first national development strategy for Qatar. It was prepared to set a path towards achieving the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

The Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP, is a national initiative established in 2008, consisting of an inter-governmental Task Force to develop the QNFSP Master Plan which will be completed by the end of 2012. The QNFSP Master Plan will devise a holistic solution to Food Security by expanding the four sectors of economic activity including renewable energy, desalination & water management, agricultural production and food processing. The QNFSP will initiate the development of a renewable energy sector in the country by promoting local demand for renewable energy to stimulate the manufacture of renewable technologies.

It is planning to utilize the latest advances in PV and ST technologies to build a Solar Park that will produce sufficient energy for its water desalination capacity. The QNFSP is also exploring the feasibility of using its wind profile to generate some of its power requirements and smart grid technologies. In addition, the QNFSP aims at developing synergies with other sectors in the country to promote national energy efficiency by reusing waste energy from other sectors, and at promoting energy efficiency measures within its four main sectors.

The Qatar National Master Plan (QNMP) is a comprehensive long term Master Plan being developed by the Urban Planning & Development Authority (UPDA) to guide the physical development of Qatar through to the year 2025. The QNMP covers all aspects of development including transportation; infrastructure (sewage, drainage, water, and electricity); environmental protection; and land uses (residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational). An integrated system will therefore maximize the benefits achievable from the projects being developed, thereby reducing the cost of resources significantly.

The Qatar Sustainable Energy and Water Utilisation Initiative (QWE, is a project to improve desalination technologies, and promote public awareness of sustainable use of energy. The technical areas covered by the program include:

  • Environmental impact assessment of water and energy utilization,
  • Minimization of water consumption and discharge,
  • Maximization of industrial energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, improved technologies for desalination,
  • Efficient reuse and recycling strategies,
  • Effective integration of water and energy systems.
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Energy debates

In January 2010, KAHRAMAA announced their intention to enforce a new law on the conservation of water and energy. This law requires the installation of water and electricity meters in all new buildings, as well as improving the minimum standards for insulation in the buildings.

The Chevron Corporation established the Chevron Center for Sustainable Energy Efficiency (CSEE) to support Qatar’s sustainable development through research, demonstration and training in solar power and energy efficiency. The $20 million CSEE is located at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and studies solar power, air conditioning and lighting technologies suited to Qatar’s buildings and climate. It is joining forces with GreenGulf, a Qatar renewable energy company, to establish a major solar test facility at QSTP.

Qatar is currently building an ‘Energy City’ which will invite multinational natural gas and oil companies to set up headquarters there to become the ‘next major energy hub’ and a center for ‘regional operations and global hydrocarbon development’. The project aims for ‘creating a sustainable blueprint for future development’ and its buildings will incorporate the latest green technology. Solar energy will be used in some parts of the city and ‘intelligent solutions designed to promote energy efficiency, improve air and water quality and reduce waste stream’ will be implemented.

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Role of government

The main focus of the Ministry of Energy and Industry ( is the further industrial development of the country's economy. The Ministry consists of departments including the Department of Energy.

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Government agencies

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF, was established in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. The foundation aims to support Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential through Education, Science and Research and Community Development. Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) was launched in March 2010 as a joint venture between Qatar Foundation, SolarWorld AG and the Qatar Development Bank. Built on 1.2 million square meters of land in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar, Stage One of the plant is scheduled for completion in 2H 2013. The Foundation is a major investor in the Qatar Science and Technology Park, which has a sustainable energy and energy efficiency remit.

Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is a hub for applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is located at Qatar Foundation and has been operational since 2004.

Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) aims to mitigate climate change and contaminants harmful to the environment as well as contaminants affecting humans. QEERI’s goal is to make sure that Qatar is able to meet its growing demand for electricity production in safe, consistent and environmentally sustainable ways. Specific areas of study are likely to include fossil fuels, solar energy and fuel cells.

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Energy procedure

Qatar is involved in the Gulf Co-operation Council electricity grid project. The so-called “North Grid” was completed in 2009, and currently connects Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with plans from all countries involved to extend connection to the UAE and Oman in 2011. The current power generation capacity in Qatar is in excess of the requirements of local market consumption and the GCC Power grid project enhances the opportunity to sell excess electricity to other members in Gulf Cooperation Council. The QEWC is in the forefront of the Gulf Cooperation Council power grid project.

A clean-energy investment fund totalling some US$400 million has been set up in partnership between Qatar and the UK. The fund is intended to aid the creation of clean-energy companies in the country.

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Energy regulator

There is no dedicated energy regulator in the country, with the individual companies in the energy sector being self-regulated.

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Regulatory framework

As yet there are no dedicated legal or regulatory frameworks for the increased uptake of sustainable energy in the country.

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Regulatory roles

All companies involved within the sector work to their own set of regulatory standards. For example, KAHRAMAA pledges to set standards and institute codes of practice in the transmission and distribution sector, whilst the QEWC guarantees quality and reliability of service for fair tariffs. As the distributor, KAHRAMAA also sets end-use tariffs.

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Energy regulation role

There are no other government departments that take an active role in energy regulation.

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Regulatory barriers

Further unbundling of the electricity transmission and distribution activities in the country would promote fairer, more competitive conditions in the market.

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Reiche, D. (2010) ‘Energy Policies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries - possibilities and limitations of ecological modernization in rentier states’, Energy Policy, 38: 2395-2403.

Alnaser, W. E. (2011) ‘The status of renewable energy in the GCC countries’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15: 3074-3098.

EIA (2011) ‘Country Analysis Briefs: Qatar’, Last updated January 2013, available from: [Accessed 28 July 2013].

IEA (2012) Country Information. Available at:

Chevron Corporation (2011) ‘Chevron Center for Sustainable Energy Efficiency’, available from: [Accessed on 28 July 2013].

Qatar National Food Security Program: [Accessed on 28 July 2013].

Qatar Electricity and Water Company: [Accessed on 28 July 2013].

Qatar Foundation: [Accessed on 28 July 2013].

Trading Economics: "Access to electricity (% of population) in Qatar", 2009. [Accessed on 28 July 2013].

The National (UAE): "Qatar-Bahrain Causeway considers renewable energy", 23rd November 2009. [Accessed on 30 July 2013].

General Secretariat for Development Planning (2011) ‘Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016: Towards Qatar National Vision 2030’, available from: [Accessed 28 July 2013].

Bloomberg: "Qatar, U.K. establish $400 million clean-energy investment fund", 2nd November 2008. [Accessed 28 July 2013].

Desalination and Water Reuse: "Qatar initative seeks sustainable water and energy", 3rd February 2010. [Accessed 30 July 2013]. Close References