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Wednesday, 14 December 2022

TODAY: KSA’s Public Investment Fund acquires a 9.5% stake in Germany’s Skyborn Renewables + UAE will build a 200 MW solar plant in Kyrgyzstan

Good morning, friends. We’re rolling into the weekend and the news cycle appears to be slowing down as folks get ready for the festive season.

We hope everyone is getting amped for an adrenaline-pumping night of football as Morocco’s Atlas Lions face off against France at 11pm Dubai time. We’ll be glued to our screens and ready for another night of celebration — fingers crossed.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has acquired a 9.5% stake in German offshore wind developer and operator Skyborn Renewables, continuing its heavy decarbonization investments till the final weeks of the year.

ALSO- The UAE and Kyrgyzstan inked an agreement to begin construction on a 200 MW solar plant in Kyrgyzstan.

^^ We have chapter and verse on these stories and more in the news well, below.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- FedEx begins EV trials in the UAE: FedEx Express will run a six-month pilot study using a new EV fleet as part of the UAE’s 2040 carbon neutrality target, according to a statement released yesterday. The new fleet will transport parcels across strategic spots throughout the country. The courier company has launched similar initiatives in India, South Africa, and others with the largest EV fleet operating in China. FedEx aims to bring its EV fleet to 50% of its vehicles by 2025 and to transition to a fully green fleet by 2030.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Will Qatar invest in Siemens Energy? Siemens Energy is on a quest for new investors which could include the Qatar Investment Authority, according to Handelsblatt (German). The company needs a capital injection to pursue a full acquisition of its wind power subsidiary Siemens Gamesa and is eyeing sovereign wealth funds, the media outlet writes.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- EU agrees on first “green tariff” for high emissions imports: In a global first, the EU reached a provisional agreement early yesterday morning to impose a CO2 emissions tariff on imports of highly-polluting goods. The aim is to launch the carbon border adjustment mechanism on a trial basis starting October 2023. Under the new agreement, companies importing iron, steel, cement, fertilizers, aluminum, hydrogen and electricity from outside the EU will have to buy certificates to cover the cost of emissions — an attempt to align costs with domestic production, avoid industrial outsourcing to countries with lower environmental standards, and push partner countries to decarbonize. EU domestic producers already have to buy permits for carbon emissions under the bloc’s trading scheme.

The story is getting plenty of ink globally: Guardian | Reuters | Financial Times | New York Times | AP | Bloomberg.

And the big nuclear fusion news was confirmed: Scientists at a US government lab in California briefly achieved a net energy gain in a nuclear fusion experiment using lasers last week, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced at a press briefing organized yesterday by the US Energy Department (watch, runtime: 2:37). This could mark a major breakthrough in the application of nuclear technology as a clean energy source, although scientists and researchers cautioned that it will likely be decades before the technology is commercially viable — if ever. The story got ink in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg.

Need a recap on nuclear fusion? We’ve got you covered.


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THE DANGER ZONE- Wind power producers are feeling the pinch as Western Europe suffers through wind drought, Sky News reports. Wind was responsible for 28% of the UK’s electricity generation last year. Europe’s previous wind drought in 2021 impacted businesses including Danish energy company Orsted, which reported losses of USD 366 mn due to the decrease of wind speeds and Germany’s RWE, whose net income from its solar and wind farms fell 38%, Big Think writes.

What does this mean for us? MENA companies and governments are heavily investing in wind energy projects inside and outside the region. The latest investment is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund’s acquisition of a stake in German wind developer Skyborn Renewables — we have the full story in the news well below.

SOUND SMART- Wind droughts describe periods when wind speeds drop, which lowers the energy production capacity of existing wind farms. The reliance of many European countries on wind in their energy mix will further squeeze utilities burdened by the cut-off of Russian natural gas.

CLIMATE DIPLOMACY- Egypt will follow up on COP27’s climate finance and investments pledges at next year’s G20 meeting in New Delhi, according to a statement released yesterday. The COP27 host reiterated developing countries’ commitment to support emerging economies in mitigation and adaptation as well as a just green transition. Egypt also reemphasized the need for private investments in key industries like food and energy as well as “[establishing] a center of excellence for research purposes in the field of green hydrogen,” Egypt’s representative at the G20 Meeting and Assistant Foreign Minister Ragy El Etreby said.


The UAE will host the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival this Saturday, 17 December and Sunday, 18 December at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park where leading entrepreneurs will engage in over 50 panels covering sustainable innovation, clean mobility, and solar-powered vehicles.

Saudi Arabia will host the Future Minerals Forum on Tuesday, 10 January to Thursday, 12 January at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center. The forum will discuss the region’s critical minerals supply and creating resilient and responsible minerals value chains for the energy transition.

UAE renewable energy firm Masdar will host Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week from Saturday, 14 January to Saturday, 21 January. The event will gather eight presidents and prime ministers and 30k participants in a series of conferences and summits including the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum, the World Future Energy Summit, Masdar’s Green Hydrogen Summit, The International Renewable Energy Agency’s Youth Forum, and the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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