Could Qatar become a smart grid leader? With its promise to host a sustainable and carbon neutral event during the harsh Gulf summer, this corner of the Middle East must do what it can to convince skeptics and give the world a cutting edge global sporting event. To that end, Kahramaa, Qatar’s energy and water authority, has committed to the research and development of smart grid’s potential.

Smart grid is one opportunity for oil rich countries to diversify their economies as we slowly approach a world of peak oil. With the wealth from which these countries along the Arabian Gulf already benefit, investment in entrepreneurs and tech firms would be one way to attract talent. The region’s extreme weather would also be the perfect test bed in which to test the latest intelligent energy distribution systems.

While much of the world darts a critical eye to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, this event, along with others, open doors to new technologies taking root within the Middle East. If the rest of the world wins from improved energy efficiency and reduced dependence on fossil fuels, Qatar’s counter-intuitive policies will be seen as one of the great stories of the 21st century.

Photo courtesy Leon Kaye.

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. 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 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.