Iraq is planning to finalise new solar energy projects with foreign firms to expand renewable energy sources to 33 percent of the total energy mix by 2030, the OPEC member’s Oil Minister was reported on Wednesday as saying. 

Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told Iraq’s Shafaq News agency that projects signed over the past few months and new contracts planned by the Arab country would boost total solar power energy to nearly 12,000 megawatts (MW) in 2030. 

He said all solar power projects are part of a 10-year blueprint that was approved by the cabinet a few weeks ago with the aim of tackling a persistent post-war power supply gap that forced Iraq to rely heavily on energy imports, mainly from neighboring Iran. 

“We aim for a clean energy production target of around 33 percent in 2030…the cabinet decision this year set a strategy to produce 12,00 MW of energy from solar power through EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and (Independent Power Producers) IPP projects,” Jabbar said. 

He said Iraq has already signed deals for the construction of solar power plants with Total of France and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar and that there are plans to finalise similar agreements with Acwa  Power of Saudi Arabia, Power China and other firms. 

Iraqi officials have said the contract with Total is for a 1,000-MW solar power plant while the agreement with Masdar provides for the construction of fve plants with a similar capacity.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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