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Necessity drives Iraq’s decarbonisation plans

Chronic, acute power shortages are spurring efforts to develop renewables and capture flared gas

Iraq’s oil minister Ihsan Ismail pledged on Sunday to develop 10GW of solar capacity by 2030. Despite his admirable ambition, this volume appears improbable. The country had only 216MW installed at end-2019, cancelled its first utility-scale solar tender the same year amid political instability, and has neither the funds nor the foreign investment environment to support such an ambitious buildout. Nonetheless, the lack of operational domestic gas supplies and acute deficiencies in the existing power generation infrastructure are providing compelling incentives to both leverage the country’s year-round sunshine and accelerate flare gas-capture projects. Iraq is thereby adopting emissions-re



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