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Iraq’s first solar power plant sees progress

Baghdad ( – Iraq is now moving forward with the construction of its first large-scale solar power facility.

The Iraqi government has increased its efforts to carry out a more ecologically friendly energy strategy, which combines the inclusion of renewable energy sources with a reduction in gas flaring from oil activities.

A one-gigawatt solar power plant will be constructed in Iraq by French energy giant TotalEnergies as part of an agreement for an integrated project that would require a $27 billion investment spread over 30 years.

The TotalEnergies project in Iraq is the first to be implemented, despite the fact that the country is working on several other solar initiatives.

The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity signed a contract last April with TotalEnergies to generate 1,000 megawatts of solar energy in the southern governorate of Basra.

According to the deal, TotalEnergies would build a solar power plant at the Artawi site in Basra in four stages over the course of two years. Iraq’s national grid will have 250 megawatts of electricity installed in each phase.

The reason these projects are happening now is mainly because Iraq is going through a unique phase of political stability, enabling Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Sudani’s cabinet to move forward with several long-delayed energy projects.

Iraq’s poor electrical supply hindered economic growth and contributed to societal unrest.

Due to the increasing population expansion, the supply of power is not keeping up with the rising demand, which is making the situation worse.

Adviser at Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), Rahim Al-Jaafari, revealed in February that Iraq plans to produce approximately 12,000 megawatts of solar energy by the end of 2030.

In a statement to the Iraqi News Agency (INA), Al-Jaafari explained that significant progress has been made in terms of generating electricity from solar energy, as the Iraqi cabinet has already authorized a 12,000-megawatt plan, of which around 7,500 megawatts have been assigned to companies.

The Iraqi official indicated that Iraq has committed to upholding the terms of the Paris Agreement, which include switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Source: Iraqi News, 8, May 2024

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