In the past few years, the UAE has come a long way in meeting the challenges of energy and climate change, under the framework of Vision 2021 and the strategic plans of each emirate. The UAE has built the enablers which correspond to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations for 2030. In addition, the UAE committed more than USD 840 million (AED 3.1 billion) to renewable energy in more than 30 countries.
Plans and initiatives for sustainable infrastructure
- Advanced energy-efficient desalination pilot project
In 2013, Masdar announced the Advanced Energy-Efficient Desalination Pilot Project which aims to develop and demonstrate seawater desalination technologies efficient enough to be powered by renewable energy.
- Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030
As a part of its policy to use alternative energy sources, Dubai developed the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to drive energy decarbonisation and ensure efficient use of energy. The emirate sets plans to generate at least 5 per cent of its power from renewable energy by 2030, as well as 12 per cent from clean coal and 12 per cent from nuclear power. In January 2015, Dubai announced a revision of its targets for the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix to 7 per cent by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030.
- Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050
Further development was the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 which aims to produce 75 per cent of Dubai's energy from clean sources by 2050.
- Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency and Renewables Strategy 2040
The Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency and Renewables Strategy 2040 (EE&R Strategy) defines the long-term strategy of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Launched under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the strategy targets 30% energy savings, 20% water savings, and 20% generation from renewable energy sources by 2040. These targets are aligned with RAK Vision 2030, which aims at 10% electricity savings and 5% of electricity demand to be met by solar power by 2030.
The strategy comprises nine programs, designed to address most forms of energy and water consumption in Ras Al Khaimah. Implementation of the strategy is supported by five main enablers. The programs include Green Building Regulations, Building Retrofits, Energy Management, Efficient Appliances, Efficient Street Lighting, Water Reuse and Efficient Irrigation, Solar Programs, Energy from Waste and Efficient Vehicles. The enablers include awareness and capacity building, financing mechanisms, research and innovation, information systems, and policy and regulation.
In 2017, the UAE launched ‘Energy Strategy 2050’, which is considered the first unified energy strategy in the country that is based on supply and demand.
The strategy aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 and reduce carbon footprint of power generation by 70 percent, thus saving AED 700 billion by 2050. It also seeks to increase consumption efficiency of individuals and corporates by 40 per cent.
The strategy targets an energy mix that combines renewable, nuclear and clean energy sources to meet the UAE’s economic requirements and environmental goals as follows:
- 44 per cent clean energy
- 38 per cent gas
- 12 per cent clean coal
- 6 per cent nuclear.
The UAE government aims to invest AED 600 billion by 2050 to meet the growing energy demand and ensure a sustainable growth for the country’s economy.
Updated on 26 Apr 2021