The Business Year

Jasim Husain Thabet Group CEO & Managing Director, TAQA

UAE - Energy & Mining

Jasim Husain Thabet

Group CEO & Managing Director, TAQA

Bio

Jasim Husain Thabet serves as TAQA’s Group CEO & Managing Director, a role he has held since July 2020. Thabet, who was elected to TAQA’s Board of Directors in 2019, is an energy industry veteran with more than two decades of experience. Prior to his role at TAQA, he served as CEO & managing director of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and also served as CEO of Tabreed. Thabet also sits on the board of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Etihad Aviation Group and AD Ports Group. He holds a Bachelor of Science in xechanical Engineering from Saint Martin’s University in the US.

TAQA is looking to be a leader when it comes to the decarbonization of the UAE’s economy by using hydrogen and expanding its solar production.

How has TAQA reoriented its strategies toward its net zero ambitions?

TAQA is setting out to become a champion of low carbon power and water for Abu Dhabi and beyond, and we are on our way to achieving this. As part of our 2030 strategy, we have put ESG at the heart of what we do. In keeping with the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative, TAQA has committed itself to being a net zero emission company by 2050, and, later in 2022, we will set interim targets for 2030. We will grow our generation fleet in the UAE from 18 to 30GW by 2030. It will also see us add 15GW to our international generation portfolio. We will increase the proportion of renewables within our business from 5 to at least 30%, particularly in solar photovoltaic (PV). We already have Noor Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest single site solar power plants that has been operating now for three years, and we are currently building Al Dhafra which will be 2GW, almost twice the size of Noor. We are transforming our water desalination fleet so that by 2030, we will produce around 1.1 billion gallons per day of water (MIGD), two thirds of which will come from reverse osmosis (RO).

Are there real opportunities for business to grow and profit when it comes to net zero aspirations?

One of the most important opportunities is green hydrogen. We are leading experts in low-cost renewable solar electricity and in water production, two essential components for large scale manufacturing of green hydrogen. Working with partners, we have the expertise, the infrastructure, the global transport routes, as well as enduring relationships with customers here and abroad to facilitate the development of the region’s green hydrogen market. In the green hydrogen space, we have signed two agreements with our industrial partners, AD Ports Group and Emirates Steel. Another area of opportunity is solar. In 2022, we launched the largest green bond to date in the region and the first linked to a PV plant, in support of our Noor Abu Dhabi solar PV plant. The bonds were 1.8 times oversubscribed with local, regional, and international investors placing total orders of USD1.26 billion, showcasing the compelling investment case and the appeal green projects have locally and internationally. Finally, late last year, we announced we were joining forces with Mubadala and ADNOC to acquire shared stakes in Masdar. Following the signing of binding agreements in June, TAQA is on track to secure a controlling stake within the company’s renewable energy business. Upon completion, the strategic partnership will see all involved working diligently to solidify Masdar’s role as a global leader in the renewables and green hydrogen market.

What does the role of your Transmission and Distribution business play when it comes to achieving net zero?

We must ensure the grid is ready to meet increased power demands with the electrification of society as part of decarbonization efforts, while also ensuring the grid can cope with integrating new technologies. In the past three years alone, we have brought on utility scale solar PV plants, as well as the Barakah nuclear energy plant. Being able to successfully integrate these plants into our system, allows for them to successfully connect cleaner power straight into the grid. In addition to this, we are looking at digitalization across our ecosystem, to help us deliver more effective maintenance, increased safety and reduce outages. TAQA is looking to be a leader when it comes to the decarbonization of the UAE’s economy by using hydrogen and expanding its solar production. The consumption of energy is as important as how we produce and distribute it, making demand-side management essential to achieving net-zero emissions. Retrofitting existing buildings and engaging and enabling people to make positive choices are part of managing demand and a significant opportunity to decarbonize. That is why TAQA has created a business called ADES, whose mission is to create an energy services sector in Abu Dhabi, initially underpinned by helping government departments and institutions to reduce their energy and water consumption. The business model is that by installing the right equipment and adopting the right operational practices, our customers can reduce their energy consumption, saving energy and water and the associated emissions. What is also beneficial is that the financing cost of these improvements is more than covered by the reduction in their bills and so the investment required is paid back through savings in their utility bills.

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