Opec hails Adnoc's 'bold step' to tap nuclear and solar energy for power grid

The group of oil producers said the world needed more initiatives like the one adopted by Abu Dhabi to support the push to net-zero emissions

Al Dhafra Solar Plant. WAM

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) hailed the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's move to tap into solar and nuclear energy to power up to 100 per cent of its electricity grid – a step that could help the state-owned entity to decarbonise its operations.

"Adnoc is taking a leading role, once again, in decarbonising its oil and gas operations. By using clean energy sources to power its facilities, it will reduce the carbon intensity of its operations and its products," Opec tweeted on Wednesday.

"The world continues to need oil and gas, and bold steps like this are critical to decarbonising our industry."

The initiative was launched on Tuesday by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office and chairman of the executive committee of Adnoc's board of directors.

Adnoc agreed a deal with Emirates Water and Electricity Company to take up to 100 per cent of its power requirements from solar and nuclear energy. The state-owned company is set to become the first oil and gas company in the world to completely decarbonise its electric grid at scale, Adnoc said on Tuesday.

The supply of clean power to Adnoc will begin in January 2022.

The agreement “directly supports our goal to remain one of the lowest carbon intensity operators in the oil and gas industry, and underscores how hydrocarbons, clean energy, and advanced energy sources can complement each other in the energy transition”, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc managing director and group chief executive.

The UAE became the first Gulf country to adopt a strategy to offset all of its domestic carbon emissions by 2050. The country aims to achieve this by investing Dh600 billion including in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

The UAE, Opec's third-largest oil producer, is looking to raise its share of clean energy generation to 44 per cent by 2050. Renewable energy projects it is developing include the world's largest single site solar plant at Al Dhafra with a total capacity of 2 gigawatts.

Abu Dhabi, which accounts for nearly all of the UAE's oil production, is also updating its policies to hasten the switch to low-carbon energy consumption.

The emirate said earlier this year that it will issue clean energy certificates as part of a new regulatory policy aimed at decarbonising the energy sector and permitting trading in renewable and nuclear energy attributes.

These certificates serve as proof of electricity produced from a renewable source, declaring that each renewable energy plant generated and added 1-megawatt hour of electricity to the grid.

The energy attribute certificates are voluntary, tradeable financial instruments and can be used as credits to claim environmental and social benefits accruing from low-carbon energy consumption.

Updated: October 27th 2021, 4:17 PM