Masdar, the leading clean energy company in the UAE, has recently finalized agreements for solar and onshore wind projects in Azerbaijan, marking a significant step toward sustainable energy in the region. These agreements, totaling 1 gigawatt (GW) in capacity, follow the inauguration of the Garadagh Solar Park, the largest operational solar plant in the area, with a capacity of 230MW.
These strategic agreements represent the initial phase of a substantial 10GW renewable energy project pipeline in Azerbaijan, initially signed in June 2022. Garadagh Solar Park stands as Azerbaijan’s first foreign investment-based independent solar power project and the most substantial solar facility in the region.
The inauguration ceremony of Garadagh Solar Park was graced by the presence of HE Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar.
The signing of the 1GW clean energy agreements involved Masdar’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Energy, HE Parviz Shahbazov, along with HE Mikayil Jabbarov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of the Economy.
Several distinguished guests attended the inauguration, including HE Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy; HE Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment and Deputy Chairman of Masdar; HE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; HE Mohammed Murad Al Blooshi, UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and HE Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. Additionally, HE Elchin Bagirov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to the UAE, was also present at the event.
HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate and Chairman of Masdar, said: “Garadagh is a testament to our shared commitment to diversifying the global energy mix. Azerbaijan’s ambition to develop low and zero-carbon solutions through renewable energy, is exactly what the world needs at this time.
The UAE is proud to support Azerbaijan’s clean energy goals, to generate more than 30 percent of its overall energy capacity from renewables by 2030. We need all nations of the world to set out clear energy transition plans with clear targets for renewable energy capacity. As the UAE prepares to host COP28 in November, our North Star for climate action must be to keep the ambition of limiting global temperatures to 1.5C within reach.”
Speaking at the inauguration event, Dr Sultan Al Jaber also commended His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev and the nation of Azerbaijan for its commitment to a defined, strategic plan of action to develop new industries, new jobs and green economic growth.
In his speech HE Dr Sultan said:
- With just 34 days to COP28, Garadagh illustrates the practical action needed to turn the goals of the Paris Agreement into tangible reality.
- Paris unified the world around a common goal, but since then, we have not seen enough action to close a massive emissions gap.
- While investment in renewable energy continues to grow, with a record 500GW added globally this year, the world must triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 to keep 1.5 within reach.
- It is critical to bring everybody to the table to be part of the solution. This is the spirit of inclusivity needed at COP28, bringing the world together to focus on solutions and results.
HE Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan Minister of Energy, commented: “Today is marked by the achievements of the state policy of the President of Azerbaijan, which prioritizes the development of renewable energy. The commissioning of the largest solar power plant based on the first foreign investment in our energy history, as well as the signing of investment agreements for the implementation of solar and wind energy projects with a capacity of 1000 MW, show that our country’s green energy and green investment plans are successfully becoming a reality. Azerbaijan is pleased to realize its strategic goals as a green energy producing and exporting country with Masdar and these projects will play an important role in increasing the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation capacity to 30 percent by 2030.”
Masdar’s inaugural venture in Azerbaijan, the Garadagh plant, is set to produce 500 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This output can power over 110,000 households and significantly reduce carbon emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year. Financing for this project comes from several prominent institutions, including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar said: “The inauguration of Garadagh, the largest operational plant in the region, is a milestone achievement. Azerbaijan is a key strategic partner for Masdar and the signing of these additional agreements today pave the way to accelerate the scale of Azerbaijan’s clean energy vision. Garadagh is the first in a number of potential projects to develop onshore wind, offshore wind, solar and green hydrogen with a total combined capacity of 10GW. This will lead to greater investment and international collaboration as we work together to help Azerbaijan achieve its ambitious climate goals.”
Masdar, a pioneering force in clean energy, is spearheading the advancement and implementation of renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies on a global scale to tackle pressing sustainability issues.
Since its establishment in 2006, Masdar has extended its influence across over 40 nations, boasting a collective electricity generation capacity exceeding 20GW. The company has made substantial investments and commitments, totaling over US$30 billion, in projects worldwide. Masdar is driven by ambitious expansion strategies, aiming to achieve a remarkable milestone of 100GW in electricity generation and 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen production by 2030.