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Title: Optimising Qatar's energy transition through model-based analysis
Author: Bohra, Moiz Abid
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 0191
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2020
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The hydrocarbon industry has defined the last century of Qatar’s history. The growing threats from the climate crisis, and increasing global efforts at decarbonisation, pose risks to Qatar’s reliance on its energy industry. Wasteful consumption of energy resources domestically is also a major challenge. Although all ministries and energy companies are answerable to the state, energy policymaking is still siloed and may miss out on synergies within the energy system. This thesis describes the development and applications of a novel quantitative tool, QESMAT (Qatar Energy System Model and Analysis Tool), that was used to study the long-term evolution of Qatar’s energy system. It is a linear program that optimises technology investment and export strategy to maximise revenue for a centralised decision-maker. It can be used to assess the viability of a new technology or study the effects of a new policy. All major sectors are represented: residential, commercial, industrial, transportation and agriculture – QESMAT is the first multi-sector energy system optimisation model for Qatar. Original bottom-up projections for energy service demands were created across these sectors, based on demographics and other indicators. These guided the evolution of the domestic energy system. A stochastic uncertainty framework was also developed to aid decision-making under uncertainty – this is a novel methodological contribution as well. The results show that a significant transformation of Qatar’s energy system is technologically and economically feasible. Large amounts of solar PV can complement gas-fired power generation, while reverse osmosis can replace existing thermal desalination capacity. Electric and hydrogen vehicles can decarbonise the transport sector. The industrial sector shows a shift from LNG towards petrochemicals and steel, while low-carbon hydrogen has the potential to be the country’s next big export. A voluntary reduction of hydrocarbon exports to zero by 2050 is also explored. A ‘systems’ approach has the potential to help researchers, industry and policymakers transform Qatar’s destiny, its kismet, in a post-carbon world.
Supervisor: Shah, Nilay Sponsor: Qatar Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral