New solar power projects awarded to foreign companies will allow Iraq to attain its targeted renewable energy production of 12,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030, the Arab country’s Oil Ministry was quoted on Wednesday as saying. 

Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, also head of the Ministerial Energy Council, said the OPEC member has already awarded solar power contracts to foreign firms with a combined output capacity of 2,500 MW. 

“These contracts involve the construction of high-capacity solar power stations through Iraq…these contracts and other planned projects will boost the country’s renewable energy production to 12,000 MW by 2030,” the Minister told the official daily Alsabah. 

Jabbar said the Ministry has drawn up a strategy to expand renewable energy and gas use in electricity production to “achieve energy security, reduce electricity imports, and slash power production costs.” 

His figures showed Iraq’s total electricity generation is estimated at nearly 19,000 MW but actual domestic needs exceed 30,000 MW. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)(