Mideast 'in need of solar industry experts'
Paris, October 30, 2011
There will be a solar boom across the GCC and North Africa region over the next decade and the region will be in solid need of skilled solar professionals, said an expert at a major forum in Paris.
'The GCC countries are blessed with abundant energy reserves both above and below the surface,' remarked Dr Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri, board member and CEO of Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), while speaking at the 2nd GCC French Economic forum.
QSTec is a JV between Qatar Solar (a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development), SolarWorld and Qatar Development Bank.
The Qatari firm had announced earlier this month that it will build a $1 billion solar-grade polysilicon manufacturing facility in the country.
'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,' he noted.
Although the GCC nations have been slower than countries like Germany and Spain in the development and uptake of solar technologies, it will be a major source of energy in the Gulf region in the next decade, Al Hajri said.
According to him, the region has unlimited potential for the development and use of solar technology and 'the possibilities are endless.'
Al Hajri pointed out that there was a growing demand within the GCC for solar technologies and applications that are sustainable, reliable and that will bring a lasting benefit to the region and the world.
Several GCC countries including Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are already using solar energy and researching new applications for this technology in solar desalination, solar cooling and for use in the oil and gas refining processes.
“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,” said Dr Al Hajri.
'The region is well placed to become a major solar energy user, producer and researcher and I see a huge demand for skilled solar industry professionals to help us meet our growth objectives,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service