The United Arab Emirates launched 11 environmentally friendly energy projects worth AED 159 billion ($43.2 billion) in 2022, the country’s energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Sunday.
In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), al-Mazrouei said that the country’s clean energy production in 2021 totaled 7,035.75 megawatts (MW), showcasing the UAE’s pioneering efforts in the clean energy sector.
The energy minister also highlighted the launch of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 – the country’s first unified energy strategy - which aims to integrate the renewable and clean energy mix to achieve a balance between economic needs and climate goals, in addition to reducing dependency on other fuel sources over the next three decades.
Al-Mazrouei emphasized that the UAE has adopted the latest innovations that drive the path of sustainable development and was among the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement, highlighting how the country has already laid a substantial part of the groundwork needed to achieve the ambitious goals of the national Energy Strategy 2050.
The minister stated that clean energy’s contribution to the energy mix in 2021 reached 19.63 percent, while the contribution of renewable energy reached 12 percent and the contribution of peaceful nuclear energy reached 7.55 percent.
He also highlighted that the UAE has considerable potential in the field of solar power, and the low cost of solar power will enhance the country’s energy security and its competitiveness, in addition to playing a key role in achieving carbon neutrality.
The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in the UAE is a pioneering energy project that is playing a critical role in the country's transition to cleaner energy sources, al-Mazrouei said. When fully operational, the plant’s four reactors will offset 22.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, making a significant impact in the fight against climate change.
The Barakah project is the first multi-station peaceful nuclear energy project in operation in the Arab world, and its success demonstrates the UAE's capabilities in managing and developing major projects. Al-Mazrouei also highlighted the significance of the third reactor, which will add 1,400 MW of carbon-free electricity to the country’s grid and contribute to achieving energy security and combating climate change.
In addition to nuclear energy, the UAE is also exploring other carbon-free energy sources such as hydrogen, with a strategy in place to become one of the top 10 hydrogen producers by 2031. The country's focus on mini reactors and new generation reactors is setting an example for other nations to follow.
“Gray hydrogen is currently produced and used in refineries in the range of 0.3 million tonnes per year. However, there are several DEWA/Siemens pilot projects that utilize blue hydrogen-based ammonia exported to Germany and Japan, as there are more than 10 projects underway, with seven being major projects under development while some are undergoing feasibility studies,” he said.
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