UAE launches two initiatives to support its net-zero goal

They will track and measure the progress of implementing the UAE Energy Strategy 2050

Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra solar photovoltaic Independent power producer project. AFP
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The UAE has launched two initiatives to support its drive to increase local clean energy capacity and uptake, even as the country pursues its strategy to achieve net zero by 2050.

The initiatives are the UAE Geospatial Platform for Future Energy; and the Potential for Renewable Energy Storage Uptake report, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said in a statement on Wednesday.

The geospatial platform will track and measure the progress of implementing the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 by constantly updating and analysing data on clean energy projects across the country, the statement said.

The UAE Energy Strategy aims to increase the share of clean energy projects to 50 per cent of the country’s overall energy mix by 2050.

The outcome of the data analysed from the platform will inform future clean energy studies and strategies, including the updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which is currently being developed, the ministry said.

“In 2021, our clean energy capacity accounted for 19.63 per cent of the total energy mix, an impressive increase compared to 5.84 per cent in 2019. We will continue to raise the bar high and set new goals for ourselves as we accelerate our path to net zero,” said Sharif Al Olama, undersecretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Potential for Renewable Energy Storage Uptake report, which is being developed jointly by the ministry with its strategic partners, provides insights into the technical and economic potential of storage technologies in the UAE power grid.

The report also explores how energy storage can drive the energy transition and support renewable energy use in the country with a focus on technology, the market, research and development, and finance.

It draws on research and engagement with various stakeholders in the UAE, including utilities, government entities, academia and the private sector.

It explores thermal, chemical, electrochemical and mechanical energy storage solutions that have the potential to increase the local uptake of renewable energy.

“In a world pursuing net zero, power storage solutions are essential to enable energy transition and ensure a reliable supply of energy when needed,” Mr Al Olama said.

“The report will inform decision makers in the ministry and across the energy sector on the next steps to increase energy storage ... in line with the objectives of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.”

The UAE is investing heavily in clean energy projects and announced several initiatives as it seeks to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Arab world’s second-largest economy is developing new clean energy projects such as the Barakah nuclear plant, as well as new solar projects, including the world’s largest solar plant in Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, with a total capacity of two gigawatts, and the five-gigawatt Mohammed bin Rashid solar park in Dubai.

Updated: February 23, 2023, 11:48 AM