Masdar signs agreements with Azerbaijan to develop renewable energy projects

Azerbaijan, largely reliant on natural gas, plans to increase its renewables capacity

From left: Rovshan Najaf, President of Socar; Mikayil Jabbarov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of Masdar; and Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar. Photo: Masdar
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Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar has signed agreements with Azerbaijan’s state oil firm Socar to develop renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 4 gigawatts.

The agreements were signed for onshore wind and solar projects as well as integrated offshore wind and green hydrogen projects, on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Masdar said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These agreements will serve to strengthen the already powerful relationship between the UAE and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and are a testament to our shared commitment to diversifying our energy mix and developing low- and zero-carbon solutions,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of Masdar. He is also the President-designate of Cop28 and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc.

Last August, Masdar achieved a financial close on its 230-megawatt Garadagh solar power plant in Azerbaijan.

The plant is expected to generate half a billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, meeting the needs of more than 110,000 homes.

Azerbaijan, which largely relies on natural gas to meet its energy needs, plans to increase its installed power capacity to 30 per cent from renewable sources by 2030 in an effort to diversify its economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The country is developing several clean energy projects.

In January last year, Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power and Azerbaijan's energy ministry started work on a $300 million, 240-megawatt wind power station.

“Masdar sees Azerbaijan as a key strategic partner, one we are proud to support in its clean energy journey,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar.

“This signing marks a milestone on the development and delivery of a significant collaboration that will advance Azerbaijan’s renewable energy goals and support its ongoing sustainable economic development.”

Earlier this month, Masdar signed an agreement with Kyrgyzstan’s energy ministry to develop clean energy projects with a capacity of 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.

Last month, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company — better known as Taqa — Mubadala Investment Company and Adnoc completed a deal to become shareholders in Masdar.

The move 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 ($163.3 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 has taken a leadership role in the global clean energy sector and has 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 more than 200 gigawatts of renewable energy.

Updated: January 17, 2023, 3:33 PM