One of the most ambitious programs of the UAE ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ which aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy usage is on the right track as 20 percent of electricity demand will come from clean sources in a few years, according to a top official.
In the next few years, UAE will reach almost 50 gigawatts of electricity capacity. With this huge capacity, the emirate has been working on different fronts to reduce the carbon footprints when it comes to electricity production. The country’s clean energy program consists of a nuclear program and a successful renewable energy program.
“Today assuming the 50 gigawatts of capacity, we have almost 20 percent 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 percent 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.
While speaking on a discussion held by the US-UAE Business Council, Mr. Ali pointed out that the targets may be raised further and the outlook for energy mix might be altered depending on evolving technologies.
The UAE forecasts that in the future, nuclear will represent only 6 percent of the country’s electricity capacity, which means 44 percent of electricity will come from renewable energy, mainly solar, probably enhanced with batteries and storage technologies while 50 percent will be from gas and clean coal.
A new model of energy efficiency for future buildings is also 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,” Mr. Ali noted.
The ministry is working in partnership with all the shareholders 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,” Mr. Al Ali said.
The UAE is currently working to lower the consumption of electricity by 40 percent and water by 50 percent and 70 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
With numerous ambitious plans focusing on clean energy, the UAE power sector presents big investment opportunities as well. “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.