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Masdar could look East for investment opportunities

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state, chairman of Masdar and the Adnoc CEO, speaks at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi Wam/Handout via Reuters
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state, chairman of Masdar and the Adnoc CEO, speaks at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi
  • Clean energy giant has invested in India, Vietnam and Indonesia
  • Recently signed agreements with Angola, Uganda and Zambia
  • China targeted but competitive market dominated by local companies

Masdar may look to capitalise on investments in the East as it continues to increase its global footprint.

Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy giant has committed more than $30 billion in projects in over 40 countries, powering in excess of 14gw of clean energy. It has also indicated plans to grow that by 10gw by the end of this year.

China currently leads global clean energy investments, followed by the US and Japan. The three countries hold over 70 percent of total global investments.

Joel Michael, founder of Oceans & Us and country head at Enking International, said: “Masdar may consider countries with high growth potential for clean energy demand, such as China, India and southeast Asia.”

The company already has interest in India and in 2019 announced a strategic investment in clean-tech company Hero Future Energies. It has also made acquisitions in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Robin Mills, CEO at Qamar Energy, said the potential is “huge”, particularly in India, “although there is competition and dominance by Indian conglomerates and it’s politically complex”.

“Masdar wants to expand in China but hasn’t entered there yet and it is a competitive market dominated by Chinese companies,” he added.

This week Masdar signed a deal with the International Finance Corporation to explore areas of collaboration in support of climate action for emerging markets.

The company is developing utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic projects to bring clean energy to communities across Asia and Africa, and has completed projects in Egypt, Mauritania, Seychelles and Morocco.

According to a recent report from Masdar and McKinsey & Company, Africa could capture as much as 10 percent of the global green hydrogen market. This could help to create up to 3.7 million jobs and add as much as $120 billion to the continent’s gross domestic product.

The UAE launched Etihad 7 last year, a programme dedicated to accelerating universal access to clean energy across Africa by supplying 100 million people by 2035. 

Masdar’s floating solar power plant in Indonesia

At the recent Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Masdar signed agreements with Angola, Uganda and Zambia to develop renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of up to 5gw.

Elias Hajj, senior partner at McKinsey, said an estimated $6 trillion is needed annually to fund the transition to clean energy.

Rishi Kapour, co-CEO of Investcorp in Bahrain, told delegates at the event that demand for capital to support innovation and scale has grown from 1,500 companies two years ago to “north of 8,400 corporates globally”, representing about $130 trillion at the end of 2022.

Manal Shehabi, economist and energy expert and director of Shehabi Energy, Economics, & Economics Research & Advisory, said: “We expect Masdar to expand its technology portfolio beyond renewables to include carbon capture, batteries and even water and electricity storage.”