Middle East set for solar boom over next decade

Ravindra Kansal, president and CEO, Middle East, Africa & CIS Punj Lloyd & Dr Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri, QSTec's CEO, at the signing ceremony for the Ras Laffan plant.

Whilst our leaders appear keen to cling to rapidly rising prices and depleting availability, the oil suppliers themselves (who have the oil literally in the back garden) have the vision to move on and grasp the untapped, clean and ever cheaper opportunities that solar present.  We pay them for the very expensive and exhaustive oil and they cunningly reinvest the revenue for the future..

Solar power is poised to become an important part of the Middle East’s energy mix over the next decade, according to a leading expert on solar within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

There is a growing demand within the GCC and North Africa for solar power and several countries, including Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are already embracing the technology and researching how it can be applied.

“The GCC countries are blessed with abundant energy reserves both above and below the surface,” Dr. Al Hajri said. “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.

“There are a number of interesting solar projects which we are seeing within Qatar and the region that will have a positive impact on the development of the solar industry both locally, regionally and internationally, the region is well placed to become a major solar energy user, producer and researcher.”

QSTec is one of the leading names in driving solar in the Middle East and earlier this month unveiled plans to build a US$1-billion solar manufacturing facility in Qatar which has a scheduled completion date of late 2013.