Delays threaten Iraq’s solar ambitions

Norway's Scatec has pulled out of what was once touted as a trailblazing solar project, highlighting the Sudani administration's challenges in reviving momentum on renewable power.
A technician with the United Nations Development Program inspects a residential rooftop solar panel at a pilot project in Najaf in 2020. (Photo credit: UNDP)

BAGHDAD/ERBIL - Norwegian energy firm Scatec has pulled out of negotiations to develop two solar projects in Iraq, dealing a significant setback to a nascent government effort to tap the potential of renewable energy.

Both Iraqi and private-sector officials had spoken of the Scatec deal as a precedent-setting exercise that would force Iraq to adapt its commercial and regulatory frameworks to align with the international standards expected by top solar companies. But the government's red tape seems to have stifled those ambitions.

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