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United Arab Emirates Making Plans for Clean Energy

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In 2017, the UAE started their first unified energy strategy dubbed “Energy Strategy 2050”. This strategy aims to reduce the UAE’s carbon footprint by 70%.

The energy consumption of the country’s 2050 strategy is as follows:

  • 44% clean energy
  • 38% gas
  • 12% clean coal
  • 6% nuclear energy

Despite being the richest oil emirate in the union, Abu Dhabi is making plans to produce a third of their energy from renewable sources like solar, hydrogen, and nuclear.

Abu Dhabi had seen positive results from their al Dhafra solar project that produced 2 GW of solar energy, and earlier this April, their solar project was able to achieve a $1.35 tariff from just 2 GW, a record low.

The chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Awaidha al-Marar, stated in a written interview that when the al Dhafra project is fully completed in 2022, the amount of solar power generated for the emirate will rise to 3.2 GW and claims that adding the energy generated from full operation of their 4 nuclear reactors will raise that amount to 8.8 GW of clean energy. They are also looking at hydrogen as a possible addition to their renewable energy production line.

However, Abu Dhabi isn’t the only emirate showing progress with renewable energy.

Qatar is working with French conglomerate Total and Japanese company Marubeni to build a solar power plant.

Upon completion, this solar plant would be capable of producing 800 megawatts, which would help satisfy 10 percent of the country’s energy demand. They plan to have the plant built and operational by 2022, when they host the FIFA World Cup. Qatar’s energy minister Saad al-Kaabi claims that by the first quarter of 2021 they should expect to have half of the plant operational. He also stated that, in 2022, the solar plant will generate around 8 times the solar energy they had originally promised, calling it a “carbon-neutral event”.

In Oman, operations have begun this year to build the sultanate’s first utility-scale solar power plant, which will help Oman’s natural gas exports by freeing up 95.5 MM cm.
Saudi Arabia is also making plans, with their ministry of energy setting a deadline for proposals of a 1.2 GW solar project. But, they’re also already in the process of building a 5 billion dollar green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility powered by renewable energy for their new mega city Neom, situated near Saudi Arabia’s borders with Egypt and Jordan.
Even though COVID-19 has halted production across multiple industries, the UAE are devising ways to see their projects through the pandemic.

If you want to learn more about the UAE’s plans for renewable energy, check out the links below.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/electric-power/091320-interview-uaes-abu-dhabi-to-produce-13-of-power-from-clean-energy-in-4-years

https://u.ae/en/about-the-uae/strategies-initiatives-and-awards/federal-governments-strategies-and-plans/uae-energy-strategy-2050

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/01/20/qatar-to-build-new-solar-power-plant/?gb=true

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-firm-unveils-worlds-largest-green-hydrogen-project

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