A large part of MENA falls within the so-called ‘sun belt’, which benefits from the most energy-intensive sunlight on the globe (in terms of both heat and light). There is also abundant unproductive desert lands suitable for locating large solar projects. However, extreme summer temperatures and high dust levels in the desert regions of the middle-east and north africa, have a negative impact on the output of solar technologies. MENA governments are establishing research institutions to tackle these technical challenges. Once overcome, the future for solar energy in the region will be bright.