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Tuesday June 25 2024

Azerbaijan, Masdar explore hydrogen offtake options & green energy sources [EXCLUSIVE]

11 June 2024 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan, Masdar explore hydrogen offtake options & green energy sources [EXCLUSIVE]
Nazrin Abdul
Nazrin Abdul
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In recent years, Azerbaijan has increasingly focused on diversifying its economy and promoting sustainable development. The country has invested in renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar power, to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate environmental impacts.

In a significant milestone for Azerbaijan's renewable energy journey, the President of Azerbaijan spearheaded the groundbreaking ceremony for the Masdar 1GW Solar and Wind Projects. This pivotal event, held in conjunction with the commencement of Baku Energy Week and in the presence of COP28 President, marks a momentous step towards the nation's sustainable energy goals.

Developed through a strategic partnership with SOCAR, the projects boast a combined capacity of 1 gigawatt, comprising both solar and wind installations. This ambitious endeavor underscores Azerbaijan's commitment to accelerating its energy transition and reducing reliance on conventional energy sources.

Part of Masdar's extensive 10GW pipeline, these projects align closely with Azerbaijan's ambitious target of generating 30 percent of its energy capacity from renewable sources by 2030. By harnessing the abundant renewable resources available in the region, Azerbaijan aims to bolster its energy security, mitigate environmental impacts, and pave the way for a more sustainable future.

The groundbreaking of the Masdar 1GW Solar and Wind Projects symbolizes a collaborative effort towards a greener, more resilient energy landscape, demonstrating Azerbaijan's proactive approach to addressing the challenges of climate change while embracing the opportunities of renewable energy innovation.

In an exclusive interview with Azernews, Maryam Al Mazrouei, Head of Development and Investment at Masdar, offers insights into the company's vision and strategic initiatives in Azerbaijan.

Q:With Masdar set to begin constructing three new renewable energy facilities totaling 1,000 MW in Azerbaijan this November, can you share more details about these projects and their expected impact on Azerbaijan’s renewable energy capacity?

The projects collectively amount to one gigawatt, comprising the 445-megawatt Bilesuvar Solar PV project, the 315-megawatt Neftchala Solar PV project, and the 240 MW Absheron-Garadagh onshore wind project. With a combined annual electricity generation of approximately 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours, these projects are projected to save over 500 million cubic meters of natural gas and offset more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Q: How does Masdar plan to collaborate with Azerbaijan in the development and utilization of hydrogen as an energy source, and what potential benefits do you see for both parties in this partnership?

In terms of exploring the potential for a green partnership, we have initiated a technical visibility assessment which is currently ongoing. We are actively engaging with the Ministry of Energy to evaluate various options for hydrogen offtake and assess potential sources of green energy for hydrogen production. Once this assessment is complete and we reach a conclusion in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, we will proceed with the implementation of these projects.

Q:Regarding the creation of an energy storage system in Azerbaijan, what types of batteries or energy storage technologies is Masdar considering, and how will they contribute to enhancing the stability and reliability of the country's energy infrastructure?

While we have not yet initiated any battery storage projects in Azerbaijan, we are eager to commence this work in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy. Establishing energy storage capabilities is a priority, and we are committed to closely collaborating with stakeholders, including the Ministry of Energy and Azerenergy, to identify the most suitable solutions for grid stability. We stand ready to provide support as needed, and we are fully committed to enhancing the stability of the grid.

Q: How is Masdar preparing to participate in the upcoming COP29 conference in Baku, and what key messages or initiatives will you be highlighting regarding your cooperation with Azerbaijan in the context of global climate action?

We are actively preparing to engage in the upcoming COP29 conference in Baku. Building on our successful participation in COP28, we are enthusiastic about Azerbaijan's hosting of COP29 and have been closely collaborating with the organizing team to align with the country's vision and objectives for the conference. Our focus remains on supporting Azerbaijan in achieving its renewable energy targets, particularly the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. Through our partnership with Azerbaijan, we are dedicated to advancing sustainable initiatives and contributing to the successful outcomes of COP29.

It's worth highlighting that Azerbaijan and the UAE, alongside Brazil, are joining forces as the "Troika" of COP presidents (representing the past, present, and future). This partnership is geared towards bolstering efforts to combat climate change, with a particular focus on advancing the "1.5°C mission" while also amplifying initiatives across all key domains outlined in the Paris Agreement. This collaborative alliance not only aims to build upon the successes of previous years but also seeks to extend and enhance the outcomes of COP29 more comprehensively during its tenure in Brazil.

It should be noted that Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) is one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy companies. As a global clean energy pioneer, Masdar is advancing the development and deployment of solar, wind, geothermal, battery storage and green hydrogen technologies to accelerate the energy transition and help the world meet its net-zero ambitions. Established in 2006, Masdar has developed and invested in projects in over 40 countries with a combined capacity of over 20 gigawatts (GW), providing affordable clean energy access to those who need it most and helping to power a more sustainable future.

Masdar is jointly owned by TAQA, ADNOC, and Mubadala, and is targeting a renewable energy portfolio capacity of 100GW by 2030 while aiming to be a leading producer of green hydrogen by the same year.

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