Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar has signed an agreement with Kyrgyzstan’s energy ministry to develop clean energy projects with a capacity to generate up to 1 gigawatt.
The pipeline of projects will start with a 200 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant, which is expected to begin operations by 2026, Masdar said on Tuesday.
“Masdar has considerable experience in Central Asia, and we will leverage our expertise to support the Kyrgyz Republic’s clean energy objectives,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar.
“Kyrgyzstan is blessed with abundant solar resources, and we see this 200 megawatt plant being the first of a number of projects that will support the nation’s goals on emissions reductions, while increasing clean energy access and security.”
Kyrgyzstan is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 44 per cent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The country’s hydro-rich energy sector is characterised by ageing infrastructure and significant losses, which are exacerbated by weather-related shocks and growing demand.
Kyrgyzstan relies on oil and gas imports for more than half of its energy needs, particularly during the winter months, when hydropower production is low.
“The energy system of the Kyrgyz Republic faces challenges meeting the significant demand for electricity from all categories of consumers with our existing resources,” said Kyrgyzstan’s Energy Minister Ibraev Omukeevich.
“The large-scale development of the renewable energy system will also help to improve employment, living conditions and energy supply for the population of the republic, reduce poverty in rural areas, and improve the level of education, as well as introduce new modern technologies.”
In April last year, Masdar signed an initial pact with Kyrgyzstan to explore renewable energy opportunities in the country.
Masdar, which is building a 230MW solar project in Azerbaijan, is also active in Uzbekistan, Armenia and Kazakhstan.
Last month, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, Mubadala Investment Company and Adnoc completed a deal to become shareholders in the company.
It is expected to help Masdar grow rapidly on a global scale under an expanded mandate that covers renewable power, green hydrogen and other clean energy technology.
The UAE, Opec's third-largest oil producer, plans to invest Dh600 billion ($164 billion) by 2050 in renewable and clean energy capacity and achieve net zero emissions in the next three decades.
Established by Mubadala in 2006, Masdar took a leadership role in the global clean energy sector and also helped to drive the nation’s economic diversification and climate action agenda.
Masdar currently operates in 40 countries and has a total investment of about $20 billion.
The company has an ambitious target to grow its capacity to at least 100 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030. The largest share of this capacity will come from wind and solar technology.
Beyond the initial goals, the company seeks to develop in excess of 200 gigawatts of renewable energy.