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Harnessing the sun in Mauritania

For the last 50 years, Mauritania, which is largely dependent on fossil fuels and has a low access rate to its power grid, has transitioned into a developing country. This change has affected energy consumption, making it important to diversify the country’s energy mix to sustain future growth and provide increased energy access.

As part of its commitment to support renewable energy adoption in developing countries, Masdar inaugurated the Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott, in 2013. The solar plant is the first utility-scale installation in the country and one of the largest solar power installations in Africa.

“Energy access is a pathway to economic and social opportunity,” said Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. “Electrification, through sustainable energy sources, is critical to ensuring our people have access to basic services and is a step toward improving our infrastructure and long-term economic development.”

Today, the solar plant produces more than 25,000 megawatt-hours of clean electricity, delivering it to more than 10,000 homes throughout Nouakchott. It displaces nearly 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and accounts for 10 percent of Mauritania’s grid capacity.

Energy access is a pathway to economic and social opportunity

Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

While energy access remains a concern in Mauritania, the country is better positioned today to harness its renewable sources to fuel economic growth and prosperity.

By investing in, and developing renewable energy projects domestically and internationally through Masdar, we are extending our leadership beyond hydrocarbons to ensure we play a significant role in the growing share of renewable energy globally

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber

Former CEO of Energy at Mubadala and Chairman of Masdar


By sharing lessons learned and best practices, Masdar is helping more than a dozen countries increase their access to energy, diversify their energy portfolios and take initial steps to reduce their carbon emissions.