Abu-Dhabi-headquartered clean energy company Masdar has signed a deal with the Republic of Iraq to develop solar photovoltaic projects in the country with a minimum total capacity of 2GW.
Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is looking to increase the percentage of renewables in its total power production capacity by the end of this decade.
The country, which this year ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change, enjoys some of the most attractive solar irradiation levels in the region.
The aims of the partnership include:
- address the challenges posed by climate change and the growing demand for energy;
- support Iraqi efforts to implement 10GW of solar projects by 2025;
- facilitate technology and knowledge transfer;
- encourage the exchange of best practices to promote economic development in Iraq.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “This agreement will define the path for the development of clean energy solutions that will drive growth in the Republic of Iraq and help the Government meet its climate goals.
“The UAE shares Iraq’s commitment to diversify away from a dependence on oil & gas and to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. We are proud to support the Government of Iraq on this vital stage in its clean energy journey and we will leverage our expertise to deliver a more sustainable future for the nation.”
HE Suha Al-Najar, president of the National Investment Commission for the Republic of Iraq, said: “The project is one of the largest renewable photovoltaic solar projects in the Middle East, and falls within the vision of Iraq’s sustainable transition plan 2021- 2030. The project delivers 2GW of green energy for Iraq national network. It opens the way for cooperation and knowledge exchange between the two parties in the field of energy planning and sustainable transition. A steering committee of both parties is established for this goal. The business model is Independent Power Producer, and the investment will be according to law13-2006 of the National Investment Commission.
Al-Najar added: “The project ensures clean and sustainable energy production for different areas in Iraq, and displaces carbon dioxide emissions resulting from fossil fuel generation. The project will also provide new jobs in the energy sector, with the manpower for project construction and operation beyond 2,000.”