Masdar will be looking to invest in new projects in Morocco, Egypt and Jordan in the coming years as the demand for clean energy goes up in the region, Chief Executive Officer Dr Ahmad Belhoul stated in a recent interview.
“Egypt, Jordan and Morocco are the three key markets in the Mena [Middle East and North Africa] region that Masdar is looking into very carefully for investment. There is plenty of potential in these countries for both solar and wind,” said Dr Belhoul. “Demand for energy is expected to double in the region by 2030. The majority will come from renewable energy. It makes sense for us to double our portfolio in the next ten years. We will be a big player in the market.”
The Abu Dhabi-based renewables company will be focusing on both solar and wind as part of its expansion plans. The company launched a major wind project in Jordan last month. Inaugurated by King Abdullah II, Tafila wind farm, a joint venture between Inframed, EPGE and Masdar, will account for almost 6.5% of Jordan’s 1,800 megawatt (MW) renewable energy target for 2020. The 117MW installation will create enough electricity to power 83,000 homes while reducing the country’s carbon emissions by 235,000 tons annually.
“The Middle East is blessed with lot of sunshine and there has been lot of focus on solar power. However, there are also countries that have considerable wind power resources. The price of wind technology has gone down by 30% in the last five years and the governments are becoming more serious about wind energy. In Jordan, we made one investment and we want to reinvest because in Jordan the cost of energy is very high and whatever the projects you bring in solar or wind you are making savings to the government. There is a strong business case in Jordan. It is one of the mature markets in the region. They believe in renewables and the regulation is very strong. Today we are delivering a project to provide 17,700 homes with solar power in Morocco,” he continued.
Morocco, he said, has increased renewable targets to reach by 52% by 2030.
The clean energy company, owned by Mubadala group, has committed more than $1.7 billion to renewable energy developments, with those investments helping to deliver nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of clean power in the United Arab Emirates and many countries across the globe. The company has projects in the UAE, Seychelles, Samoa, Spain, United Kingdom, Oman, Mauritania and other countries. It is currently working on Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Project in the United Kingdom in partnership with Statoil and Statkraft. When complete in 2017, it will generate electricity to power more than 410,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions equal to 893,000 tons annually.