Abu Dhabi’s 75% government-owned National Energy Company TAQA has just created its first-ever division to specialize in investing in renewable energy.
The new unit, Energy Solutions, will invest in wind, solar, thermal and hydro power, according to a report at The National. TAQA first evidenced an interest in clean energy in 2008, and it has committed to a $1.1 billion carbon capture and storage project in the Netherlands, the Bergermeer gas storage project, to become operational in 2015.
Last year, Abu Dhabi’s National Energy Company invested in carbon cutting software, as I wrote previously: California’s Hara Could Cut a Staggering 12 Terawatt Hours of Energy. That experience has no doubt given them an insight into the potential.
Until now, only fossil energy has been the focus.
Along with solar and wind, the division will also invest in novel high tech technologies related to traditional energy, such as carbon capture and sequestration (or sale).
It could be a very big move, financially, because TAQA has a combined asset base of about $32 billion in investments in dirty energy, between two current divisions, and the company says the Energy Solutions clean tech division could “become the equal to the company’s other two divisions.”
This means at least $15 billion could be on the table, or – if they mean “equal to the other two divisions combined” – would mean a $32 billion pot for investing in renewable energy.
“The plan is, since this is the third vertical, it should be as big as the other two verticals,” said Saif Al Sayari, the head of Energy Solutions.. “The opportunity is there, the projects are there, the technology is there. It is only a matter of integrating all these components
Just some of the projects that Energy Solutions is considering include several wind farm tenders in Morocco – a nation with huge potential to produce not just its own power from renewables but to power Europe as well, It plans to jump off with a flying start with investment starting this year.
“We are interested in looking into more than just a few projects in 2012, and grow exponentially in that area,” said Al Sayari.
Investment looks like it would be focused close to home. One homegrown project it is launching a feasibility study for, says Al Sayari, is right in Abu Dhabi; a 300 MW cleantech waste to energy project that could be operational in four years.
Its current two dirty power divisions operate power plants in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, India, Canada and the US, but TAQA raised eyebrows last year when it unloaded some Canadian oil fields last year.
Abu Dhabi Aims to Halt the Practice of ‘Flaring’ Natural Gas