Clean and Alternative Energy in the U.A.E.January 8, 2018
To read the full report, please click on the following link: “Clean and Alternative Energy in the U.A.E.“
Over the past decade, the U.A.E. has demonstrated a serious commitment to the development of clean and alternative energy. This has helped the U.A.E. meet its growing demand for power, reduce its dependence on natural gas imports, and preserve its lucrative oil exports. This commitment has also protected the U.A.E.’s environment, promoted the health and well being of its citizens, and further diversified its economy, while creating employment opportunities for U.A.E. nationals. In addition, it has set an example and provided a model for other countries around the world to emulate according to their particular circumstances.
Building on previous commitments in the U.A.E.’s national vision, U.A.E. Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum unveiled in January 2017 a U.A.E. Energy Strategy for 2050. This strategy aims for the U.A.E.’s energy mix in 2050 to comprise 44% renewable energy, 38% gas, 12% clean coal, and 6% nuclear.
The U.A.E. has already made significant progress in meeting these targets. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is currently constructing four 1,400 MW reactors in Abu Dhabi’s Western region known as the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The first reactor is expected to become operational in 2018, and another reactor is then due to come online every year for the next three years. When all four reactors are completed in 2021, they will collectively provide for one-quarter of the U.A.E.’s total electricity needs.
In addition, the U.A.E. has pursued a variety of landmark solar energy projects. The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) completed a 100 MW concentrated solar PV plant in 2013 that was the largest renewable energy project in the Middle East at the time. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is now building a solar park, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, that will have a capacity of 5,000 MW when fully completed in 2030, accounting for 25% of the estimated total energy production of Dubai. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) is constructing a 1,177 MW solar project that, like the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park before it, set record-low bids for the cost of electricity generation.
While radically transforming its energy mix at home, the U.A.E. has simultaneously enabled renewable energy projects abroad. Masdar has made major investments in utility-scale solar power plants throughout the world, including a 200 MW solar power plant in Jordan and a 120 MW plant in Spain. It has also embarked on smaller solar energy projects globally, often in complex or remote locations like Pacific islands, in partnership with the U.A.E. government and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
At the same time, Masdar has facilitated several pioneering wind projects. For instance, it invested in a 117 MW wind farm in Jordan, which was the Middle East’s first utility-scale wind power project. It also invested in the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, the 650 MW London Array, and the world’s first commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm, the 30 MW Hywind wind farm in Scotland.
The U.A.E. has also spearheaded innovative research in the areas of clean and alternative energy. Located at the heart of Masdar City and established in partnership with MIT, the Masdar Institute (now part of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology) was the first institution dedicated to research on renewable energy and sustainable technologies in the region and has become a global brand in these fields. More recently, DEWA launched a Research & Development Center at the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park that is expected to be completed by 2020.
Finally, the U.A.E. has emerged as a regional hub for clean and alternative energy events. Every October, Dubai is host to the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and World Green Economy Summit, the latter of which is one of the leading forums on the green economy. Moreover, every January, Masdar hosts Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which brings public and private sector stakeholders together to address challenges and celebrate achievements in sustainable development and clean energy.
The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s new and updated report on the U.A.E.’s clean and alternative energy sector describes how the U.A.E. has become a regional leader in these fields. It also highlights how U.S.-U.A.E. partnerships have played an important role in this story and will continue to do so in future.Clean and Alternative Energy in the U.A.E. Overview and Opportunities for Business : An Update Back to Resources