Solar power deal for Qatar
Qatar is to boost its renewable energy usage with the help of a $500 million joint venture from two of its major utilities companies. 

Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Petroleum are setting up a company together in order to invest in solar power. They recently signed a memorandum of understanding, witnessed by the country's prime minister. 

The prime minister, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, said: "Qatar is continuing in its efforts to provide sustainable sources of energy and to help conserve the environment as well as our natural resources, as we implement the environmental pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030, and protect the rights of future generations."

The country is oil and gas rich but its solar power potential is promising. 

Qatar Petroleum pointed out Qatar is one of the first Arab Gulf states to diversify its economy by increasing investment in clean and renewable energy sources, especially solar power.

The country has previously announced plans to install solar power facilities capable of producing 1,800 MW by 2020. This is expected to contribute around 16 per cent of the country's total power generation.

It also intends to hold auctions for solar power projects and set up 10 GW of solar power capacity by 2030.