UAE flagship renewable energy company Masdar has revealed that it has signed agreements at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023 with three countries – Angola, Uganda and Zambia – to develop renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of up to 5 GW.
Deals were done under ‘Etihad 7’ initiative, a UAE-led initiative that aims to raise public- and private-sector funds to invest in the development of Africa’s renewable energy sector. It was launched at ADSW 2022 by HE Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) with the aim of achieving 20 GW capacity to supply 100 million people across the continent with clean electricity by 2035.
The Minister said, “The UAE and African nations share a firm belief in the tremendous potential that clean energy offers Africa to unlock economic and climate action progress.” Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chairman of Masdar, mentioned that the UAE is committed to advancing sustainable development in the Global South and these agreements will be transformative to local communities and will help African nations to drive economic growth for their people while still meeting net-zero objectives.
Under the Etihad 7, Masdar inked agreement with Angola for the development of renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 2 GW. With Uganda, it will be developing greenfield renewable projects with a total installed capacity of 1 GW. In Zambia, Masdar signed agreement with ZESCO Limited for the joint development of develop solar, wind, and hydroelectricity projects with a total capacity of 2 GW.
Angola’s Energy and Water Minister, Joao Baptista Borges stated that the 2GW renewable energy projects with Masdar will improve production capacity, creation of jobs and the improvement of access to electricity by the Angolan people.
Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Minister of Energy of Uganda, said, “The Government of Uganda is delighted about the partnership with Masdar that will enable the addition of 1 GW of renewable energy to Uganda’s generation capacity. This will go a long way to contributing to the attainment of our universal access goals and our energy transition goals. We look forward to developing this project within the agreed timeframe.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO, Masdar, said, “As part of Masdar’s new shareholding structure launched in December, we have a goal of delivering 100 GW of clean energy around the world by 2030. With Africa’s massive projected development and growth and low current clean energy penetration levels, we see enormous potential for the renewable energy sector across the continent.”
Today, an IRENA report says that less than half of the Sub-Saharan African population has access to electricity. RE based power is just 20 percent of the total. The continent has a theoretical potential capacity of approximately 850 terawatts (TW) of solar and wind and Masdar looks like aiming to exploit the vast potential. Masdar has projects in Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, and the Seychelles also.