Middle East making the switch as decarbonized energy future becomes a reality

Update Middle East making the switch as decarbonized energy future becomes a reality
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Updated 28 January 2022

Middle East making the switch as decarbonized energy future becomes a reality

Middle East making the switch as decarbonized energy future becomes a reality

As countries strive to meet growth and development targets, many are also considering climate change and its implications, as such turning to clean and renewable energy.

How can economies today ensure global decarbonization in the private, consumer and industrial sectors? Achieving carbon neutrality requires energy efficiency in everything that can be electrified, or turning to carbon neutral hydropower.

The delivery of clean energy solutions is already playing a significant role in the sustainable energy revolution.

French multinational electric utility company EDF, one of the main actors in the industry, is studying the possible synergies between nuclear, renewable energies and hydrogen generation, including the hybridization of electricity production.

France has made a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as consolidating its nuclear assets in coming decades to achieve carbon neutrality. The French pavilion at Expo 2020 brought together energy experts to share insights and best practices.

EDF’s strategy

“CAP 2030” is EDF’s main strategy to double the group’s net renewable capacity from 28 GW, including hydro, to 60 GW from 2015 to 2030. The remaining 30 GW that the group aims to produce in the years leading up to 2030 will mainly consist of renewable power, such as wind, on-shore and off-shore, and solar PV.

To speed up their energy transition, countries in the Middle East region are developing large-scale projects, which is consistent with the group’s strategy.

“The Middle East is a strategic area for EDF Renewables, and ultimately for EDF Group. We have currently secured 4 GW of projects in the Middle East and Africa, and the region has a pipeline of five additional GW to come” said Olivier Bordes, EDF Renewables Middle East’s CEO and Managing Director.

EDF Renewables’ portfolio consists of around 14 GW of renewable operational (wind and solar capacities) assets worldwide. The strategy applies in more than 20 countries where the group is present.

Shifting away from the historical market of Europe and North America, the strategy follows two trends: First, rebalancing the business toward regions including Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, which is expected to be one of the major contributors to the business in the coming years.

The second trend is rebalancing solar and wind production, the company’s portfolio being concentrated in wind energy historically.

Projects in the region

Dumat Al-Jandal project in Saudi Arabia is the largest wind farm in the region, with an installed capacity of 400 MW. The farm has started to produce clean energy during the summer 2021 and the 99 turbines are all connected to grid since the end of last year.

The Dewa 3 photovoltaic plant in Dubai is in operation since 2020. With an installed capacity of 800 MW, the plant contributes to the climate change mitigation goals by offsetting 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Projects under construction include the Al Dhafrah PV2 solar plant in Abu Dhabi. With 2 GW capacity, Al Dhafra will be the largest single-site PV initiative in the world.

In Saudi Arabia, South Jeddah 300 MW photovoltaic plant is the EDF Renewables’ first PV project in the Kingdom.


“Strong partnership is a key factor for success. We have partners to develop our low-carbon solutions in the region, particularly in the UAE and in KSA,” said Bordes.

In the energy sector, complementarity and innovation are fundamental for value creation, to offer the market more competitive proposals, and to participate in the energy transition.

He added, “The Middle East program has ambitious targets. One of the main challenges is to continue to accelerate the development to reach the energy transmission targets”.

EDF recently won a stake in a $3.6 billion project to develop and operate a transmission system alongside ADNOC and TAQA. This subsea transmission network, the first of its kind, will decarbonize the offshore production of ADNOC, supporting the UAE’s goal of being net zero by 2050.

EDF Group is covering all the value chain, energy generation, transmission and distribution, and energy services, such as district cooling and energy efficiency. “We believe that the best energy is the one that is not consumed” stated Laurent Clement, CEO and Managing Director of EDF Middle East.

He added, “The energy mix in the GCC region is evolving quickly to low-carbon generation, with the massive integration of renewable energy. As an example - the objective of 60 GW in KSA in 2030, or the starting of Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE in addition to their massive renewable objectives in 2030.” said Mr. Clement.