UAE minister says GCC energy subsidies need cut
HE Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE's energy minister, said there is "an urgent need" to cut energy subsidies in the region
The UAE's Minister for Energy said there is "an urgent need" to cut subsidies in the region's energy sector.
Declining oil prices are pressuring GCC budgets, and reducing energy subsidies will benefit the countries in this regard.
HE Suhail Al Mazrouei said: “These subsidies urge most of the people in the region not to rationalise [their energy consumption] while using energy, and as you may know these figures are a great challenge for the budgets of the Arab world."
According to local daily The National, Mazrouei "reiterated that the [UAE] government expects to spend $35bn on non-hydrocarbon electricity generation projects by 2020, most of which – $20bn – is accounted for by the nuclear building project at Barakah, where four reactors are expected to provide 24% to 25% of the nation’s electricity demand, or 5.4 gigawatts, by 2020 if they are delivered on schedule."
"The minister also reiterated the UAE’s target to reduce reliance on natural gas for power from current levels above 90% to 70% by 2020," the report added.
Mazrouei added: “We are trying to increase other eco energies, [and we expect] an increase in natural gas-fired generation”.
No information was provided about how the remaining $15bn non-nuclear budget will be spent, the report continued.