Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz has met with the chief executive of Masdar, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) renewable energy company, to discuss a water-for-energy deal with Jordan and the UAE.
Under the proposed agreement, Jordan will supply solar energy from its UAE-funded plant to Israel, and Israel will give it desalinated water in return.
At the meeting, held on Tuesday in an undisclosed location, parties sought to complete the professional work and prepare contracts with signing is set to take place at the UN climate conference, COP28, in the UAE in October.
According to the Times of Israel, political and commercial agreements will have to be signed after COP28.
The agreement has been talked about for a few months. In August, Katz met with Jordanian ministers responsible for water, energy and the environment, as well as Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s industry and innovation minister. Earlier in September, representatives from Masdar visited Israel.
In June, Katz met with John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Affairs, to discuss the plans. He told Kerry a 600MW solar plant will be built in Jordan and that Israel will export 200 million cubic metres of desalinated water a year to its neighbour. The projects are known as Prosperity Green and Prosperity Blue, respectively.
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According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, Jordan is expected to increase its solar energy capacity to 2.7GW by the end of this year, up from 1.7GW in 2020. The nation already has ongoing developments including the 800MW Al-Dhafra project operated by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the 400MW Al-Risha project run by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power.
Jordan is seeking the agreement with Israel for desalinated water as it is the second-most water-scarce country in the world, according to Unicef.