France based global oil and gas company Total SE will build 1 GW solar PV capacity in Iraq after it entered into an initial agreement signed with the Ministry of Electricity, announced the Iraqi Ministry of Oil according to media reports.
The solar power plant capacity is one of the 4 energy projects Iraq wants Total’s help to build, with the remaining 3 related to building oil and gas infrastructures. Discussions on these projects, estimated to be worth $7 billion, have been ongoing since October 2020.
According to local media reports, the agreement was signed during a visit by Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne. Final decision on these projects will be taken by the Iraqi Council of Ministers, and no further details were shared.
Iraq is looking into expanding its renewable energy capacity with solar PV technology as central to its plans. In February 2021, a Bloomberg report referred to a statement by Iraqi Oil Minister Ihssan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail for the country’s solar PV target of 10 GW by 2030 (see Iraq Targets 10 GW Solar Power Capacity By 2030). However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) believes the country holds potential to host 21 GW solar PV capacity by 2030 (see IEA Recommends Iraq To Aim For 21 GW Solar).
For Total this solar investment in Iraq, and presumably many more to come across geographies, is part of the group’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It is also planning to change its name from Total SE to TotalEnergies to reflect its ambition for sustainable development and energy transition to carbon neutrality.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Total is building 800 MW Al Kharsaah Solar PV IPP Project in Doha, Qatar with Japan’s Marubeni (see Qatar Selects Total-Marubeni For 800 MW Solar Project).