UAE leading in adoption of clean energy policies
Country investing big in natural gas and alternative energy
The UAE’s leadership role in the adoption of clean energy in the Middle East was highlighted at the recently concluded World Energy Congress at Daegu, South Korea.
Speaking on a panel entitled ‘Transition a country in a decade,’ Dr. Matar Al Niyadi, the UAE’s undersecretary of energy, said that the country’s robust and diverse energy policy would ensure that it continues to support economic development in the future and remain attractive for foreign investment.
According to a report in The Saudi Gazette, Al Niyadi said that the country’s energy policy rests on the four pillars of diversification, conservation and efficiency, security of supply and managing talent in the industry.
"Diversifying our energy mix is the first pillar of our energy policy,” said Al Niyadi. “To meet immediate demands, we are using more natural gas to generate electricity, because of its clean and efficient burning properties."
Al Niyadi said that the country is spending $25 billion within the next five years on exploring new gas fields.
"Al-Hosn, a joint venture between ADNOC and Occidental, is set to develop the Shah sour gas field which is expected to add 500 million cubic feet of gas per day to the domestic supply by 2014,” he said.
The UAE is also making arrangements with Qatar to import gas via the Dolphin Energy Pipeline, Al Niyadi said.
While the pipeline would help the UAE meet around 30% of its local demand for natural gas, the country is also planning a second LNG terminal with a capacity of nine million tonnes per year on its eastern coast.
Al Niyadi also made a mention of the various alternative energy initiatives the UAE is pursuing.
"In December 2009, we awarded a $20 billion contract to the Korea Electric Power Corporation to construct four nuclear reactors,” he said. “To be completed by 2020, this will cover about 25 percent of the UAE demand for electricity.”
Al Niyadi also noted that the UAE was the first country in the Middle East to announce a renewable energy target of 2.5 GW by 2030.
“We expect these targets to be met with solar and waste-to-energy,” Al Niyadi said. “As a major first step, Masdar commissioned Shams 1 in March this year—the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world."
Al Niyadi said that the UAE’s green building codes has also helped in enhancing the country’s energy efficiency and conservation efforts.
"In the UAE, we have the region's first mandatory green building codes, leading to cuts in energy and water consumption by more than 33 percent in new buildings,” Al Niyadi said.
“We are also running a large number of pilot schemes in order to develop additional policies in the next few years, including monitoring of water and energy consumption through wireless smart meters, testing of consumption and time-of-day based electricity pricing to offer lower rates for less electricity usage and the establishment of state-funded energy service companies,” he added.