Catalysing the Use of Solar Photovoltaic Energy

Title: Catalysing the Use of Solar Photovoltaic Energy
Status: Ongoing
Duration: 2014-2020
Budget: US$2.2 million
Coverage: National
SDG: SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 13: Climate Action
Partners: The Governments of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region


Programme Summary

UNDP aims to ensure better delivery of sustainable energy services for Iraqi citizens, through the effective use of solar photovoltaic energy. This project focuses on improving the lives of the poor, especially in peri-urban and rural areas of Iraq and achieving quantifiable gains in the reduction of Green-House Gases (GHGs).

UNDP, in partnership with the Government of Iraq, national universities and private sector companies, aims to systematically review and address regulatory, legal and technical barriers to the promotion of clean, affordable and sustainable energy in Iraq. With technical support from UNDP, solutions to these gaps will be developed, including policy documents, technical standards or legislative reform.   

The potential for emission reduction in Iraq has been demonstrated through catalyzing the application of solar power through pilot installations that can meet the energy needs of offices, small businesses, residences and municipal services. This was achieved through small-scale solar PV installations and utility-scale plants on- and the off-grid. The technical and economic potential for both utility-scale and on a distribution, level can be highlighted to support advocacy efforts promoting solar energy as an alternative, environmentally friendly solution to fossil fuels currently being utilized in Iraq.


UNDP Solar Technician, Mohammed, meets with a woman beneficiary of the solar energy project in Najaf.


What we aim to achieve

  • Developed a Renewable Energy law, currently undergoing the legislative process; 

  • Support for a Solar Atlas for Iraq to help identify potential sites for solar energy plants; 

  • National adoption of a solar PV code for grid integration by the Ministry of Electricity;

  • Developed incentive schemes to encourage the uptake of solar energy, including a feed-in-tariff, net-metering scheme and proposed fiscal incentives;

  • Designed a road map and regulatory framework for implementation by the GoI, which will support private sector engagement in the Renewable Energy sector. 

  • Support to build the capacity and institutional arrangements for the development of public and private Independent Power Producer (IPP)-led and managed solar power plants in Iraq;

  • Conducted awareness events targeting local authorities, academia, private sector representatives and NGOs, to facilitate knowledge exchange;

  • Facilitated missions for high-level Government of Iraq  officials to expose them to regional best practices on renewable energy; 

  • Established a network of academic institutions to improve academic and vocational training related to renewable energy, as well as connecting Iraqi experts to their regional counterparts in some Arab States including Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, as a first step for knowledge exchange and future twinning possibilities.