UAE’s Masdar teams up with Africa50 to scale clean energy projects in the continent

The agreement will help bridge the infrastructure funding gap in the region

Wind turbines produce renewable energy outside Caledon, South Africa. Reuters
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Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar has partnered with Africa50, an investment platform, to identify and scale clean energy projects across the continent.

Masdar has signed an initial agreement with Africa50 to “bridge” the infrastructure funding gap and mobilise public as well as private finance, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“We welcome this important partnership with Africa50 which brings a key stakeholder to the table for an inclusive, equitable and just energy transition,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate.

“We look forward to working with Africa for Africa. The world must continue to close the gap on climate finance for clean energy investment in the global south which is disproportionately affected by climate change,” said Dr Al Jaber, who’s also the chairman of Masdar and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.

“We need the public and private sectors to work together to deliver clean energy access across Africa – a key mission and objective of Africa50.”

On Tuesday, the UAE pledged $4.5 billion to help speed up the development of clean energy projects in Africa.

The investment falls under the UAE's Etihad 7 programme, which aims to raise public and private sector funds to invest in the development of Africa's renewable energy sector. It aims to achieve 20 gigawatts of capacity to supply 100 million people across the continent with clean electricity by 2035.

Masdar has pledged $2 billion of equity and will mobilise an additional $8 billion in project finance aimed at delivering 10 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through its Infinity Power platform in the continent by 2030.

Africa’s installed renewable energy capacity is set to grow to more than 530 gigawatts by 2040, from about 54 gigawatts in 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Solar photovoltaic capacity will rise to 340 gigawatts and wind to 90 gigawatts.

“As the largest renewable energy company in Africa, through our joint venture with Infinity Power, it is fitting that Masdar, with Africa50, should take this bold step forward which will unlock much needed climate finance for the energy transition,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, chief executive of Masdar.

“It is a key strategic market for Masdar, and we are proud of our long-term partnerships and projects in Africa.”

In March, Infinity Power, the joint venture between Egypt’s Infinity and Masdar, completed the acquisition of the entire shareholding of Africa’s wind power platform Lekela Power.

The transaction made Infinity Power the largest renewable energy company in Africa. Infinity’s key stakeholders include the Africa Finance Corporation and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“We believe that this step will become one of many, on a journey to drive transformative projects that support Africa’s path to net-zero and help builder cleaner economies for future generations,” said Alain Ebobisse, chief executive of Africa50.

“Partnerships are key to our goal of scaling up and accelerating the delivery of bankable and sustainable infrastructure across Africa.”

In January, Masdar signed agreements with three African countries to develop renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of up to 5 gigawatts.

The Abu Dhabi-based company will develop renewable projects in Angola, Uganda and Zambia with a capacity of 2 gigawatts, each in Angola and Zambia, and 1 gigawatt in Uganda.

Updated: September 07, 2023, 9:52 AM