The amount may seem small considering how much sun rains down on the Middle East, but Qatar has announced it will generate 2% of its power needs from solar energy by 2020. The world’s richest country per capita has had an ambitious clean energy agenda the past few years, driven in part by the country’s quest to host more high profile international events. Furthermore, oil and natural gas are finite resources. Even if the reserves are enough to last 100 years, the price of fossil fuels will only go up in price over time: and Qatar is better off economically if its people use more renewables at home so the country can export more of its energy abroad. Meanwhile the list of solar projects keeps growing.

According to the Gulf Times, Qatar’s emir has reiterated his support for an increase in solar power. Meanwhile, the country has inked a memorandum of understanding with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to boost renewable energy production.

Qatar has countless more small steps to take, but watch for this tiny country, along with adjacent United Arab Emirates, to make huge changes within their energy portfolios in the coming years.

[Image credit of the Qatar desert: Leon Kaye]

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. 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. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, 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 (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.