Masdar Sets Sights on Azerbaijan's Corridor for Green Hydrogen Exports

The United Arab Emirates' clean energy giant Masdar is looking into repurposing Azerbaijan's Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) for transporting green hydrogen. The SGC currently funnels natural gas extracted in Azerbaijan to European consumers. This development comes amid Masdar's growing involvement in Azerbaijan's renewable energy sector.

Masdar has recently completed a trio of major solar and wind power plants in Azerbaijan, generating a combined capacity of one gigawatt. The company is aiming much higher, setting a target of developing a staggering 10 gigawatts of renewable energy projects within Azerbaijan. An initial phase will focus on four gigawatts, with a subsequent phase encompassing an additional six gigawatts.

Azerbaijan itself has set ambitious goals for clean energy. The country, which will be hosting the upcoming Cop29 climate conference in November this year, aspires to generate 30% of its total power needs using clean energy sources by 2030. To achieve this target, Azerbaijan is looking to significantly boost its natural gas supplies to Europe, with an expected increase to 20 billion cubic meters annually by 2027, up from the current figure of 11 billion cubic meters.

Repurposing the SGC for green hydrogen transportation presents a unique opportunity for both Masdar and Azerbaijan. Masdar seeks outlets for the green hydrogen it intends to produce using the ample renewable energy resources in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, has existing infrastructure that could be adapted for this new clean fuel source.

There are hurdles to overcome before this vision can be translated into reality. A significant challenge lies in securing long-term contracts with buyers for the green hydrogen. Masdar acknowledges this and is actively searching for reliable customers.

The collaboration between Masdar and Azerbaijan holds the potential to be a game-changer in the global energy landscape. If successful, this project would not only contribute to increased production of clean energy but would also demonstrate the feasibility of repurposing existing natural gas infrastructure for hydrogen transportation. This could serve as a model for other countries seeking to transition towards clean energy sources.

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