UAE’s 20% electricity will be clean in a few years

Aim to achieve almost 50 gigawatts of electricity capacity in the next few years

  
The world’s tallest solar power tower at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

The world’s tallest solar power tower at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

 

The UAE ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ is on the right track as 20 per cent of electricity demand will come from clean sources of energy in a few years, said a top official from Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

“UAE today is heading towards almost 50 gigawatts of electricity capacity in the next few years. With this huge capacity the UAE have, we are also working on different fronts to reduce our carbon footprints when it comes to electricity production. So, we have our clean energy programme that consists of our nuclear programme and successful renewable energy programme. So, today assuming the 50 gigawatts of capacity, we have almost 20 per cent of that capacity coming from clean energy. So, based on our strategy and target for 2050, we are looking forward to having at least 50 per cent of our electricity capacity coming from clean sources of energy,” said Yousif Ahmed Al Ali, Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity, Water, and Future Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

During a discussion held by the US-UAE Business Council, he pointed out the set targets may be raised further and outlook for energy mix altered depending on evolving technologies.

“What we forecast in the future is that nuclear will represent only 6 per cent of our electricity capacity in the UAE. So, 44 per cent of our electricity will come from renewable energy, mainly solar, probably enhanced with batteries and storage technologies. And 50 per cent will come from gas and clean coal. But you never know if the technology evolves, our decision of the mix can change.”

‘Green code’ for future buildings

A new model of energy efficiency for future buildings is planned through a national green code.

“The green code will put certain specifications for materials and technologies to be used for industries, for all the buildings that will come in the future. We are working on this. We will have the green code hopefully soon issued by all the municipalities and used by all the municipalities in the UAE.”

The ministry is working in partnership with all the stakeholders in the UAE for the development of the green code, which will be a “minimum requirement” to be followed.

“Some of the emirates may elect to go beyond. So, this will be the minimum federal requirement in the UAE for the buildings,” Al Ali said and underlined work is underway when it comes to retrofit existing buildings to improve energy efficiency or decrease demand.

The UAE, he said, is working to reduce the consumption of electricity by 40 per cent and water by 50 per cent, and 70 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

With numerous ambitious plans with focus on clean energy, the UAE power sector presents big investment opportunities, he said.

“It is a huge business opportunity for everybody, and it is an open market that already has a lot of investors from all over the world,” Al Ali said and noted that Israeli market represents a very good opportunity for the UAE. “It is a well-regulated market. We think it is a safe investment for us.” — ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

 

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