|The UAE’s largest clean energy producer plans to double its capacity this year, helping boost the green potential of the country ahead of the climate conference.
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Masdar, which runs projects from the UK to Asia, aims to boost its global capacity to about 40 gigawatts by the end of the year, CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said in an interview, adding that acquisitions will be a significant part of its strategy to reach 100 gigawatts by the end of the contract.
Al Ramahi said: “We are on the right track to achieve the goal of 100 gigawatts that we set for ourselves by 2030… and I expect that we will double our capacity by the end of the year.”
Masdar operates solar power plants in the UAE, the third largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The company is also one of the largest investors in clean energy in the UK, including the London Array offshore wind project. This year, Masdar bought wind and geothermal companies in Europe, Africa and Asia, giving it stakes in projects worth about $6 billion, and adding about 3.4 gigawatts of capacity.
“We need to do acquisitions” to reach the 2030 production capacity goal, Al Ramahi said. The company will target “different technologies and diverse geographies with different partners.” “It is a big target and requires a lot of capital.”
The UAE, the first Gulf country to announce its goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) later this year. The country has been criticized for its plans to increase oil production capacity and for choosing the CEO of the main oil company, Sultan Al Jaber, as president of the summit. It should be noted that Al Jaber also chairs the Board of Directors of “Masdar”.
The UAE accelerates its emissions reduction target to reach 40% by 2030
Masdar’s targeted capacity for this year includes facilities operating or under construction. Al Ramahi said it also includes what he called a safe group of projects in preparation that the company plans to move forward with, but does not include those in the early planning stage. The 2030 goal of producing 100 gigawatts also depends on the total capacity of the projects in which Masdar will own shares by then.
The company earlier this year sold its first green bond, worth $750 million. Al Ramahi said that it plans to raise liquidity twice a year by selling securities.