It used to be that countries in the Middle East recruited and hired mostly professionals in the oil and gas industry, including engineers, geologists and architects. While that is still true, expect Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) to start scoping for solar professionals to work on the Arabian peninsula.

According to Dr. Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri of Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec):

“The GCC countries are blessed with abundant energy reserves both above and below the surface. We have tapped the energy that lies below us in the form of our oil and gas deposits and we are now looking upwards to the sun to tap its unlimited energy potential. The possibilities are endless.”

The opportunities are abundant. Desalination, solar cooling, and of course solar power generation are all possibilities in a region abundant in sun. And while countries like Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are far behind in the development and scale of solar when compared to countries in Europe, this will change. First, these countries for the most part can afford to invest in technologies. Second, while peak oil as of now is a theory, these countries need to hedge against the possibility that their oil reserves will eventually reach depletion.

To that end, QSTec will build a US$1 billion solar polysilicon factory. Watch for other large scale projects to go from drawing board to groundbreaking ceremonies. Between the UAE’s Madar City and Qatar’s determination to host a World Cup football fans will remember for generations, watch for the Middle East to emerge as a locus of clean energy innovation.

From PV Magazine.

Photo, from WikiCommons, is of Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.