Qatar took another step towards sustainability today with an announcement that Qatar Solar Technologies will build a polysilicon production facility at a cost of US$1 billion that is set to open in 2013.  The factory will be built in northeastern Qatar, on a 1.2 million square foot lot in Ras Laffan Industrial City (pictured here, click to expand).

Polysilicon is one of the key materials for the manufacture of solar panels.  For Qatar, the move makes sense as the world’s wealthiest country (on a per-capita basis) seeks to build a more sustainable future as the 2012 World Cup approaches.  Qatar has built its economy on oil and natural gas exports, and now the country’s business and civic leaders see what’s above ground--as in the sun--as a building block instead of what the emirate has long extracted from below the earth’s surface.  With plenty of raw materials from which local companies can create polysilicon, Qatar could see itself become a solar technology hub.

If all goes to plan, not only should Qatar benefit, but will become a global player from emerging as a clean energy exporter, too.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009 his work has 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 You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). During 2013 and 2014, he lived and worked in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as an associate director with a leading public relations firm within Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.