UAE energy giant Masdaralong with Africa's Infinity Power and Hassam Allam Utilities have taken a step forward on a $10bn wind farm project.
The energy and investment firms have signed an agreement with Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority to secure land to build a 10-gigawatt (GW) capacity onshore wind farm in Egypt, set to be one of the largest in the world.
The landmark wind project will produce 47,790 GWh of clean energy per year and reduce around 9 per cent of Egypt's annual carbon emissions by displacing 23.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
UAE and Egypt progress on $10bn wind farm
The wind farm will also help Egypt meet its strategic objective of sourcing 42 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030. The 10 GW plant will save the North African nation an estimated $5bn in natural gas costs a year.
The original agreement to develop the 10 GW wind farm was signed between Masdar, Hassan Allam Utilities and Infinity Power and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission company and witnessed by the presidents of the UAE and Egypt on the sidelines of the UN climate change conference, COP27, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt last year.
As the UAE's flagship renewable energy company, Masdar's role demonstrates its deep and lasting commitment towards supporting African nations such as Egypt to meet their ambitious renewable energy objectives.
The project is being developed by the consortium led by Masdar and its partners: Infinity Power, Masdar's joint venture with Egypt's Infinity, which is Africa's largest pure play renewable power company; and Hassan Allam Utilities, a sustainable infrastructure focused investment platform.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate, said: "This 10GW onshore wind project is set to be one of the largest wind farms in the world, and largest on the African continent.
"It is a sign of the strong partnership between the UAE and Egypt, with great potential to create jobs, cut emissions and power homes with clean electricity at competitive economical costs. The world needs to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
"Projects like these will support the global efforts to reduce the impact of climate change and help keep the ambition of 1.5 intact while enabling significant socio-economic growth. The UAE looks forward to hosting COP28, we continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Global South in their efforts to decarbonize and secure a just energy transition."
Dr Mohamed Shaker Al-Markabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy in Egypt, said: "Egypt has an ambitious program to advance the Egyptian electricity sector in various fields, foremost of which is optimizing the use of new and renewable energy resources and encouraging investment in this field, which would contribute to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and continue to reduce carbon emissions, in line with Egypt's energy strategy to have up to 42 per cent of our energy mix from renewable energy sources by 2030, while complementing the National Climate Strategy 2050 to face the challenges of climate change and achieve sustainable economic growth."
He added: "This project represents a continuation of the historical and brotherly relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the UAE and reflects the fruitful and constructive cooperation between the two brotherly countries.
"Renewable energy in Egypt has the potential to attract direct foreign investments, and the national Egyptian entities play a vital role in creating an environment that is supportive of investment with low risks, and high interaction with the financing institutions and development partners. In addition, Egypt has comparative advantages in terms of the land available which is necessary to produce a huge volume of electricity from renewable resources.
"Furthermore, Egypt's geographical location enables it to export green energy to Europe, especially as the country looks to further enhance and raise the efficiency of its national grid."
During COP27 last year, Masdar, Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities also signed agreements with Egyptian state-backed organizations to develop green hydrogen and derivatives' production facilities. The consortium is targeting a capacity of 4 GW by 2030, and an output of up to 480,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year.