The UAE and France have announced the launch of a bilateral programme to accelerate clean energy development.
The programme will combine French and Emirati expertise to develop commercial and investable opportunities to accelerate development, mainly in the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industries, such as hydrogen solutions for mobility.
It will be launched during COP28 in Dubai later this year following Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, meeting with Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate and Chairman of Masdar.
The initiative will focus efforts mainly on the two nations, with a concentration on low-carbon hydrogen and sustainable fuel production and their value chains. The latest tie-up follows both countries signing an energy cooperation deal last summer.
Dr Ahmed Al Jaber, said, “Leveraging our combined technological and energy expertise, we will intensify our efforts to promote renewable and zero carbon energies to decarbonise economies and hard-to-abate sectors.”
Le Maire added, “This targeted programme will leverage synergies between public and private sectors from both countries to accelerate the implementation of impactful projects of clean energy development for transportation.”
The initiative builds on the partnership successes between Emirati and French companies in the clean and renewable energy sector.
Industrial leaders from both countries have partnered in the development, investment and operation of over 6.2GW of clean energy and renewable energy programs across the globe and mobilised over $6bn in investment, displacing around 10m tonnes of CO2 annually.
Both countries have a long history of energy collaboration – agreements on nuclear energy stretch back as far as 2008 – and partnerships have accelerated in recent times.
Last March, The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) renewed the Implementing Agreement to continue their collaboration on research and development in the field of nuclear safety, radiation protection, emergency response, knowledge management among other aspects.
In December 2021, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France’s electricity company (EDF), to cooperate in the fields of low carbon hydrogen, high voltage transmission, localisation and industrialization as well as research and development (R&D).
The energy-rich UAE has emerged as an important partner for western nations as they strive to replace imports from sanctions-affected Russia.
Masdar recently signed an agreement with the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) to develop integrated offshore wind and green hydrogen projects, and onshore wind and solar projects, with a combined capacity of 4GW.
Masdar aims to achieve 100GW of renewable energy capacity and 1m tonnes of green hydrogen production per year by 2030.