Week in Middle East: Amazon Launches its First Solar Rooftop in UAE; AMEA Commissions 50 MW Solar Project in Togo; Masdar, Iraq Sing 2 GW PV Agreement and More

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Amazon Launches its First Solar Rooftop in UAE

Amazon MENA took the first step in its sustainability road map by launching its first solar rooftop in the UAE atop its largest fulfilment centre DXB3. The development has more than 5,500 panels on the roof and generates 2.8 megawatts of onsite solar energy to provide 60 percent of the fulfilment centre’s needs. Annually it will reduce CO2 emissions by which is the equivalent of planting 40,000 tree seedlings. Amazon’s MENA operations are working hard in support of The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon across all its businesses by 2040. Co-founded by Amazon in 2019, The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early, through regular reporting, carbon elimination and credible offsets.

AMEA Power Commissions 50 MW Solar Project in Togo

UAE-based AMEA Power has commissioned a 50MW photovoltaic solar plant in Togo, one of the largest independent power producer projects in West Africa. The 50-megawatt project in Blitta, Togo will supply reliable, clean electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the country to receive a sustainable supply of clean energy. The plant will help advance the Togolese national clean energy strategy and its aspiration to increase its renewable energy share by 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2030 while reducing CO2 emissions in the country by more than one million tons. The project created 700 jobs during construction, out of which 80% were Togolese.

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, Iraq Sing 2 GW Solar Power Agreement

The Iraqi electricity ministry signed with Masdar, a United Arab Emirates-based renewable power developer, an agreement to build solar power projects in central and southern Iraq, with a total capacity of 2 GW, the Iraqi oil ministry said. The project is the biggest investment in Iraq’s renewable energy industry, the statement said, without indicating its total cost. Iraq is planning to build a number of power plants in the coming years in partnership with international and Arab companies. Some will use solar energy, while others will run on fossil fuels, including gas that is produced during the extraction of oil, by introducing it into the electricity production system, Iraq Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told Asharq recently.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Buys 2.6% EN+ Stake

Mubadala Investment Company, an Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor, announced the acquisition of a 2.6% stake in EN+. EN+ is a global leader in low-carbon aluminium production and renewables. Mubadala is paying about $200 million for the stake in the company founded by Polina Yumasheva’s former husband, Bloomberg reported citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Mubadala’s $243 billion global portfolio spans six continents with interests in multiple sectors and asset classes, including significant investments in Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy. Mubadala’s total share ownership in EN+ now stands at 2.86 percent on a fully diluted basis.

UAE Leads on Global Climate Action Through Green Economy

The UAE attaches great importance to protecting the environment in its development policy. It has adopted this approach since 2012 by launching the ‘UAE Green Growth Strategy’, to transform the national economy into a green economy that adopts modern technologies, knowledge, and innovation in addition to reducing carbon emissions. The UAE has announced that the green and digital economy will become the starting point in the UAE for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE’s wise leadership considers the green economy a tool to control economic growth and direct it towards sustainable development. IT also focuses on protecting the environment, climate, natural resources and improving quality of life. The UAE has won international leadership positions in the competitiveness indicators of the energy sector in general, and clean energy in particular, after seven international references agreed to classify it among the top 10 countries in the world with 18 sector-specific indicators in 2020.

Oman and IEA To Explore Ways to Leverage Clean Energy Transitions

The oil and gas producing economies of the Middle East and North Africa are particularly affected by climate change, and Ministers from the region will explore ways to leverage clean energy transitions to ensure broader economic resilience at a Ministerial Dialogue on 9 September organised by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals of the Sultanate of Oman and the International Energy Agency. Not only is the Middle East and North Africa region warming at a significantly faster rate than the global average, but the region’s exports are uniquely vulnerable to energy market shifts resulting from global efforts to mitigate climate change. If oil and gas demand were to decline as much as implied in the IEA’s Global Roadmap to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050, then producer economies’ net incomes from oil and gas could fall to just one-fifth of their current levels in the next three decades. The loss of these revenues would pose substantial risks for undiversified economies.

Saudi Arabia to Produce 30% of its Energy from Renewables by 2030

Research report relased by investment banking company Natixis shows, Saudi Arabia has high potential to capitalise on solar energy – photovoltaic technology and concentrated solar power technology – to drive its economic diversification agenda. It also pointed to wind energy as a promising front as technological advancements make wind farms more economically viable. Saudi Arabia, under its Vision 2030 development programme, is looking to produce 30 percent of its energy from renewables. “The last five years have been decisive for renewable energies in the GCC region. Plans have converted into operating projects and future investment outlook has increased,” the report read. The kingdom is host to 16 percent of the region’s solar capacity, with the UAE holding 68 percent and Kuwait, nine percent, according to the report.

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