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Mauritania’s solar capacity promising, says Masdar

Masdar has plans to build a 15-megawatt solar power project in Nouakchott, the capital city of Western African country Mauritania.

According to Masdar, the proposed project, along with renewable energy projects in Tonga and Afghanistan, is part of a slew of efforts in recognition of the United Nations’ “Year of Sustainable Energy for All,” a worldwide initiative for universal access to modern energy services.

Mauritania reportedly is currently experiencing severe energy scarcity. The country has an electrification rate of only 60 percent. It has an installed grid capacity of 144 MW, comprising mainly diesel generators.

And yet, the country possesses significant untapped renewable energy potential, including solar and wind. The country’s wind energy potential is almost four times its annual energy demand, noted Masdar.

Located in Africa, the country also reportedly “has some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, making it an ideal place for solar power installations,” said Taleb Ould Abdi Vall, minister of energy.

Once completed, the planned 15-MW solar power plant will be owned and operated the government-owned electric utility.

The first utility-scale solar power installation in the country if it actually pushes through, the solar project would provide 10 percent of the country’s electricity needs.

“With the demand for energy rapidly increasing – especially in the developing world – tapping into renewable energy is critical,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chief executive of Masdar.

Masdar is a renewable energy company under the Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Development Company.

By 2020, Mauritania wants to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewables, excluding biomass, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency. – EcoSeed Staff

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