Red umbrella on footbridge above river with water mills
Representational Image Pexels/Quang Nguyen Vinh

United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Masdar, also known as the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, and France's Electricité de France (EDF) signed an agreement with Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Energy to look into developing hydropower and renewable projects to generate a combined capacity of 3.6 gigawatts in the Central Asian country.

The partnership was formalized on Sunday during the COP28 summit, which started on Nov. 30 and will run until Dec. 12 at Expo City in Dubai.

The agreement was signed by Taalaibek Ibraev, minister of energy of Kyrgyzstan; Ahmed Al Awadi, director for development and investment (EMEA) at Masdar and Emmanuelle Chevennement, EDF assets development director for Europe and Central Asia.

The ceremony was witnessed by Sadyr Japarov, president of Kyrgyzstan; Sharif Al Olama, UAE undersecretary for energy and petroleum affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and Luc Remont, EDF chairman and CEO.

The agreement marks the first project of Masdar as it enters the hydropower space. The company already has an extensive portfolio of clean energy including solar, floating solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, floating wind, geothermal, battery energy storage systems and green hydrogen.

Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, president of COP28 and chairman of Masdar, said during the event that the summit will help provide the world a platform where it can "utilize all clean energy sources at its disposal to keep the ambition of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C within reach," WAM reported.

"Hydropower is one of the oldest clean energy sources and has many positive attributes that can help a number of countries around the world achieve their climate goals and meet their net-zero targets," he added.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan's energy minister noted that this agreement will further strengthen the existing ties between his country, the UAE and France, adding that hydropower is a "very important" source of energy for the Kyrgyz Republic.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said this agreement has opened a new chapter for the Abu Dhabi-based company.

"With over 17 years of pioneering renewable energy technologies and successfully delivering utility-scale clean energy projects, we are glad to have the opportunity to bring the energy, passion and focus to hydropower that we have utilized for so many other renewable energy sources as we seek, in partnership with EDF, to build a successful collaboration with the Kyrgyz Republic, deepening the strong relationship between the UAE and the Kyrgyz Republic," he added.

Kyrgyzstan aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 44% in 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The Central Asian country already sources 90% of its electricity from hydropower plants, which is the oldest and sustainable way to produce energy.