Saudi Arabia and Mauritania sign MoU to advance renewables opportunity and improve reliability, security of national grid

Written by
6 May 2024
Saudi Arabia and Mauritania sign MoU to advance renewables opportunity and improve reliability, security of national grid

Agreement aims to promote the exchange of expertise and explore partnership opportunities in the fields of electricity, renewable energy and clean hydrogen.

Saudi Arabia and Mauritania have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) that aims to promote the exchange of expertise and explore partnership opportunities in the fields of electricity, renewable energy and clean hydrogen.

The signing took place during the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Riyadh (28-29 April 2024) and was signed between Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and Nany Ould Chrougha Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy for Mauritania.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the agreement will include opportunities in solar, wind, waste-to-energy, and geothermal energy with the development and enhancement of the national grid, to improve reliability and security, a key focus.

The development and implementation of cleaner fossil-fuel technologies through adoption of best available solutions and practices, will be a catalyst for positive environmental impact. This will include rollout of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies along with measures to improve energy production and consumption efficiency.

In a November 2023-released report entitled Renewable Energy Opportunities for Mauritania, the International Energy Agency (IEA) observed strong potential for accelerating sustainable development through clean energy investments.

The report highlighted the country’s high-quality wind and solar resources as a valuable catalyst for sustainable development and economic growth potential with scaled deployment critical for generation of low-cost renewable electricity and hydrogen through electrolysis.

Mauritania has the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen projects through to 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, however, successful implementation is contingent on attracting sufficient levels of investment while securing demand from foreign offtakers to help derisk. 

The IEA noted that by building out its renewable hydrogen sector, Mauritania could ‘significantly accelerate sustainable development and growth in the country if inflows of foreign currency and technological capacity are channelled towards infrastructure, skills transfer and adding value to the national economy’.

Commenting on the report findings at time of release, Rita Madeira, IEA Africa Programme Officer, said: “Mauritania has significant opportunities to tap its renewable energy resources and accelerate its sustainable development journey in line with the government’s policy priorities. Leveraging these resources will require widespread coordination and collaboration, as well as a robust legal and regulatory framework. We hope this new report and its analysis can spur additional policy support and investment.

The Saudi Minister of Energy also met with Kadri Simpson, European Commissioner for Energy, during last month’s Special Meeting, engaging in bilateral discussions around furthering energy and clean technology cooperation and advancing the Paris Agreement and COP28 outcomes.

Both parties underscored the shared determination between Saudi Arabia and the EU to fast-track private investments in renewable energy, and emphasised the importance of collaboration on electricity interconnection, integrating renewables into the grid, and fortifying electricity infrastructure. The discussions also touched on hydrogen and clean tech opportunities, with a focus on fostering industrial partnerships.
 

 

 

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