Iraq is planning to generate 400MW of its electricity by renewable energy by 2016, with the first projects currently under bid evaluation.

“We are planning for 400MW of renewable energy by 2016, which will be about 2 per cent of the country’s total power capacity,” said Rafah Mohammed, from the energy production office at the Ministry of Electricity, speaking at MEED’s Iraq Energy Projects Conference 2013 on 25 March.

Iraq is looking at developing renewable energy through solar, wind and biomass technologies, although the initial projects will focus on solar and wind.

The first stage of the renewable programme, for which bids are currently under evaluation, will involve building solar and wind plants, with capacities of 1-10MW, in remote off-grid areas. The first stage will provide 50MW of electricity in total through 15 projects. Five of the proposed plants will be solely solar plants, while the rest will utilise a mixture of solar and wind technologies.

If the first is successful, the second and third stages will follow. The second stage will involve building on-grid solar plants, using photovoltaic (PV) technology, with 10-40MW capacities. The third stage will involve building concentrated solar project (CSP) schemes with capacities of 10-30MW.