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French electricity giant EDF plans to increase its renewable energy developments in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by at least 5 gigawatts of capacity.

“The Middle East is a strategic area for EDF Renewables, and ultimately for the EDF group. We have currently secured 4 GW of projects in the Middle East and Africa, and we have an additional 5 GW pipeline in the Middle East,” said Olivier Bordes, Managing Director of EDF Middle East.

EDF’s portfolio consists of 14 GW of renewable assets worldwide, and the Middle East is one of the major contributors to activity in the years to come.

Projects already under construction include the Dhafra PV2 solar project in Abu Dhabi, which gasses 2 GW of electrical capacity, and is the largest single-site PV (photovoltaic) project in the world, contributing to the UAE’s transition to renewable energy durable.

Another development is EDF’s first photovoltaic project in the Kingdom – a 300 MG solar photovoltaic power plant in Jeddah. This is progressing thanks to a consortium led by EDF Renewables, Masdar and Nesma Company.

The projects are expected to start operating by the end of 2022.

“Partnership is a key success factor. We have partners to develop our market in the region, particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” Bordes added.

“The Middle East program has ambitious goals. One of the main challenges is to continue to accelerate development to achieve energy transmission objectives, while guaranteeing the quality and durability of EDF’s design, by controlling potential shutdowns and maintenance needs.

EDF recently won a stake in the $3.6 billion project to develop and operate a transmission system alongside ADNOC and TAQA.

A one-of-a-kind subsea transmission network to decarbonize ADNOC’s offshore production, supporting the UAE’s “Net Zero by 2050” strategic initiative.

The EDF group has developed energy services around district cooling and energy efficiency. The entire value chain is covered, to develop the energy mix and achieve carbon neutrality.

“We believe that the best energy is that which is not consumed. The energy mix is ​​changing. In the coming decade, the objectives announced by the countries of the region are in terms of the development of renewable energies in GW, namely 60 GW for Saudi Arabia”, added Laurent Clément, CEO of EDF Middle East.

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