Masdar has signed a framework agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to “accelerate” the roll-out of renewable energy across the Middle East and North Africa.
The arrangement, whose exact nature
remains vague, will see Abu Dhabi-based Masdar working alongside the EIB to “identify
investment opportunities to develop and finance renewable energy projects”.
The two clean-energy powerhouses will work
together in the realms of “project identification, evaluation and development”,
in addition to training up locals in critical renewables-related skills.
Recent reports suggesting that key Western
lenders – including the EIB, the World Bank and Germany’s KfW – will be
unwilling to finance mega-solar projects in politically sensitive areas in
North Africa serve to underscore the central role Arab Gulf states may have to play in
the region’s renewables programme.
In addition to owning several large solar
plants in the UAE and Spain, and a stake in the London Array offshore wind farm, Masdar
owns a minority stake in Jordan’s first wind farm, expected to begin commercial
operation next year.
Masdar says its interests are “broadly
aligned” with those of the EIB, one of the most important lenders to the
European renewables sector.