In September the Iraqi government announced a target of $500bn to be spent on energy sector investment in the Middle Eastern nation, but officials are now saying that $1.6bn of that figure is already being set aside for solar and wind energy.

An official with the country’s ministry of electricity has said that the funding will focus on generating 400 MW of power to grow the country’s shattered electricity infrastructure.

Last week the International Energy Agency announced that the Iraqi power sector would need a $6bn investment every year until 2035 so as to bring about an oil boom that would transform the country’s fortunes and stabilise the world’s energy markets

According to Recharge News, Baghdad has sent invitations to more than two dozen leading international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) players to build the plants, including ABB and Egypt’s Orascom.

The Iraqi government has reportedly ring-fenced $200m from its 2013 budget for an initial 50MW of renewables, with remote and border areas set to benefit first.

Over the medium term, the country expects to source about 2 per cent of its electricity from renewables as it looks to maximise its oil exports.

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