Soaring electricity demand from space cooling and excellent solar photovoltaics (PV) resources are creating an opportunity for the financial viability of low-emission solutions in Qatar that can compete with existing approaches. This study examines the big picture viability of combining large utility-scale PV with decentralized building-scale ice storage for cooling in Qatar. Qatar is found to have consistently high repeatable solar radiation intensity that nearly matches space cooling requirement. A means to exploit the low installed costs of PV, combined with low cost and long lifetime of ice storage (as opposed to batteries) are examined to meet space cooling loads. Space cooling is responsible for about 65% of Qatar’s annual electric load (which averaged 4.68 GW in 2016). While multiple gas prices are considered, a scenario with the current gas price of $3.33/MMBTU, a PV system of 9.7 GW capacity and an aggregate ice-storage capacity of 4.5 GWh could reduce the gas-fired power generation in Qatar by nearly 39%. Here, gas-fired generation capacity to meet current load exists and hence is not costed.

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