Officials from Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) and Turkish state energy company Elektrik Uretim Anonim Sirketi yesterday signed  a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would explore areas of mutual interest to further develop Turkey’s solar industry.    
The MoU, which was signed in Ankara by QSTec chairman and CEO Dr Khalid K al-Hajri and Elektrik Uretim Anonim Sirketi general manager Halil Alis in the presence of Turkish Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Ali R?za Alaboyun, is expected to address Turkey’s energy diversification plans and the country’s increasing solar energy requirements.
Turkey aims to have over 3 gigawatts of installed solar capacity and has expressed strong support for prioritising renewable energy investment and the involvement of the private sector to assist in the diversification of Turkey’s energy sources.  
Aside from the MoU with Elektrik Uretim Anonim Sirketi, QSTec has signed MoUs with Turkish industrial groups Bendis Enerji and Fernas Group to co-operate in solar energy industry investments.
With Turkey’s energy requirement forecast to increase at 6% per year until 2023, solar energy will play a major role in the country’s energy mix, according to QSTec.
QSTec said the co-operation would draw upon its strengths and its partners from across several key areas, including solar industry expertise, research & development collaboration opportunities, solar energy applications and investments, as well as examining other areas of mutual interest where QSTec can make a positive contribution to Turkey’s solar industry.
QSTec has steadily been expanding its presence within the global solar industry and its strategic investments in key German solar companies have turned it into “a world-leading integrated solar company”.  
QSTec holds a 29% stake in SolarWorld AG, a global solar company that recently announced that it is on target in 2016 for revenues of over €1bn. In 2015, QSTec acquired 50% of the solar and semi-conductor manufacturing equipment technology provider, Centrotherm, which also revealed that it received substantial orders for its products this year on the back of high solar industry demand.
Turkey and Qatar have a long history of friendship and co-operation in the political field and business sectors.
Qatar’s ambassador to Turkey Salem Mubarak Shafi Salem al-Shafi said: “Our two great countries share many interests and have a very long history of collaboration across many different industries.  
“I’m very proud that QSTec is further strengthening these close ties by assisting in the development of Turkey’s solar industry. We applaud the leadership of Turkey and Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Barat Albayrak for their renewable energy initiatives and Turkey’s continued commitment to solar energy.”
Al-Hajri said: “QSTec and its partners are delighted to be working with Turkey to assist in enabling its full solar energy potential. Turkey’s high solar irradiation is excellent for producing clean solar energy and by working together with the right researchers, investors, and local companies, we can make a substantial contribution to Turkey’s renewable energy goals.”
Solar energy costs have reduced considerably over the last few years, while technology and efficiency have improved leading to a booming market for solar. As solar costs continue to decline, the market has seen a 34% increase in the number of global solar installations in

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