Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), has outlined how Abu Dhabi’s energy transformation has dramatically changed the emirate’s energy profile over the past few years in his keynote address today at the Singapore Energy Summit, held as part of Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW).
Singapore and the UAE share a lot of similarities; especially in setting an exemplary model for sustainable development, and therefore could share knowledge and benchmark against each other.
Highlighting the UAE Capital’s capabilities in accelerating energy transition, Al Marar emphasized the commitment of the Abu Dhabi Government to enhance sustainable development of clean energy. “Abu Dhabi is committed to pioneering the paradigm shift towards renewable and clean forms of energy. This was one of the key factors in the establishment of the DoE in 2018,” said His Excellency.
Outlining Abu Dhabi’s progressive economic vision for the post oil-era, Al Marar said: “With energy use in Abu Dhabi having more than doubled over the past decade and projected to increase by 1.4 per cent each year until 2035 due to population rise and economic growth, we recognized the need to transition our energy system towards a sustainable future and to enhance energy efficiency and rationalize consumption. Our approach is outlined in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the country’s first unified energy strategy based on supply and demand.”
Launched in 2017, the strategy aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050, reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70% and increase consumption efficiency by 40%.
The DoE Chairman mentioned that Abu Dhabi remains a major oil and gas supplier to the international system, however, this has not slowed the pace of its transition to clean and renewable energy sources.
Al Marar said in his keynote: “By all measures, our energy transition has been accelerated over the past few years, with key developments to promote the emirate’s nuclear and solar capacity.
“The Barakah Nuclear Plant is expected to bring 5.6 GW of clean energy to the Abu Dhabi power mix and offset more than 21 million tons of greenhouse emissions per year when fully operational.
“Abu Dhabi’s flagship Noor Abu Dhabi Solar PV Plant —one of the world’s largest solar PV plants at 1,177 MW installed capacity through 3.2 million solar panels –alone has delivered about 2.6% of the emirate’s energy requirements.
“We also introduced the Virtual Battery Plant in January 2019 - the world’s largest grid-scale advanced battery energy storage facility with 108MW Sodium Sulphur batteries with over six hours of energy storage capacity in 10 different locations in Abu Dhabi.”
Another strategic priority for Abu Dhabi is water security. The UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 aims to reduce total demand for water resources by 21%, increase the reuse of treated water to 95% and increase national water storage capacity up to two days.