The UAE’s ambition to become one of the pioneering countries in reaching a hundred percent clean energy economy has attained a new phase. The country has invested around $43 billion in eleven new environment-friendly energy projects.
Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure said that the Emirate Nation produced around 7,035.75 megawatts of clean energy last year. This was a really encouraging figure as the nation is charting out its plans for the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.
UAE Investing More To Focus On Environment-Friendly Energy Projects
According to this new strategy, in the next three decades, UAE will aim at achieving a perfect balance between renewable and clean energy.
This will enable the integration of these energy resources into the economy of the nation to meet its energy needs as well as to achieve the environmental goals in relation to the Paris Accords. All this will ultimately reduce the dependency of the UAE on other sources like fossil fuels.
Al Mazrouei also said that UAE is one of the most innovative nations that adopted the path towards sustainable development. He also mentioned that the National Energy Strategy 2050 has been revised to include the National Hydrogen Strategy and also to assess the achievements made during the past five decades in the field of sustainable energy.
A roadmap for the future of the energy sector of the UAE has already been set up by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. According to the 2021 energy estimates, peaceful nuclear energy contributed to 7.55 percent of the total energy mix; clean energy contributed to 19.63 percent; and renewable energy reached 12 percent.
There is an international crisis in terms of energy production and this will create a new model for the UAE to source low-cost energy resources that are available locally to meet the existing energy requirements of the nation. One of the chief sources of clean energy for the UAE is solar energy as it fulfills all the necessary conditions for sustainability and low carbon emissions.
It is a low-cost energy source that is available in plenty under the geographic conditions of the Emirate nation. The minister also noted that with the decrease in storage costs and commercialization, there will be a stronger demand for long-term storage technologies that can effectively decarbonize the grid in a more economically friendly way.
The non-oil sector of the UAE will also see a rise in its export value because of the overall market conditions. The international oil market will see some major fluctuations in 2023 as there are several factors like the US policy to refill Strategic Oil Reserve, China’s zero-Covid Policy, Russia’s seaborne oil product sanctions, and the persisting global economic inflation. These factors can seriously impact the price of oil in the international market.
Another major development is happening in the area of nuclear energy with the ongoing construction of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. This four-reactor plant is projected to have the capability of preventing around 22.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The project is currently in the process of energy transition and once it becomes fully operational, it will be hailed as a major nuclear energy project in the Arab world that will be responsible for reducing the carbon footprint in the UAE’s energy sector.
When the third reactor also becomes commercially operational, it would add another 1,400 Megawatt of carbon-free electricity to the UAE’s power grid. This will lead to the UAE attaining energy security keeping up with its climate change initiative.
Apart from the nuclear energy initiative and the development of new generation nuclear reactors, UAE is also committed to pushing the frontiers of clean energy development by focusing on Hydrogen fuel as well.
The UAE administration and the ministry of energy have been in continuous efforts to create a Hydrogen fuel strategy for the nation based on the ten key pillars and this will put the Emirate nation on the list of the top ten Hydrogen fuel manufacturers by the year 2031.
Currently, gray hydrogen or hydrogen fuel created from natural gas is being used in refineries that produce around 0.3 million tonnes every year. Already seven projects are under development for producing blue hydrogen and another three are undergoing feasibility studies.
The UAE is also hosting this year’s COP28 climate conference by the end of 2023 and this will be a major boost toward carbon neutrality and climate sustainability efforts. The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) hosted from 14 to 19th January 2023 is considered as one of the major events after COP27 and prior to the COP28 conference.
The ADSW was established in 2008 and aims at providing a global platform for making pragmatic decisions regarding positive climate actions and innovations in the area of sustainable development. The clean energy projects started under the UAE administration will also be a point of discussion in these key global events and the efforts made under these projects will reflect in the overall carbon emission and climate neutrality discourses of the world.