Dubai’s clean energy efforts ‘gathering pace’

The UAE plans to invest $160bn in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades

Dubai is building the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai with a five-gigawatt capacity, one of Dewa's mega infrastructure projects. AFP
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Dubai’s transition to clean energy is “gathering pace” as the emirate pursues net zero emissions by 2050, the Dubai Media Office said on Wednesday.

Last month, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, set out plans to make public transport in the emirate emission-free by 2050, edging closer to its ambition of becoming a green economy hub.

An ambitious plan for the future will focus on eliminating eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, making savings equal to Dh3 billion ($816.8 million).

“Already one of the world’s leading cities in clean power infrastructure, Dubai is moving rapidly to achieve this target,” the DMO statement said.

The UAE, Opec’s third-largest oil producer, is pursuing goals to reduce its carbon footprint and became the first country in the Middle East to set a net-zero target last year.

The Emirates plans to invest $160 billion in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

It is building the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai with a five-gigawatt capacity, one of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s mega infrastructure projects.

Abu Dhabi, which is developing a two-gigawatt solar plant in Al Dhafra region, has set a target of 5.6 gigawatts of solar PV capacity by 2026.

In 2017, the UAE launched its energy policy to boost clean energy and cut dependence on natural gas to generate power.

The UAE Energy Plan 2050 aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 70 per cent, increase clean energy use by 50 per cent and improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent by the middle of the century, resulting in savings worth Dh700 billion ($190.6 billion).

The policy’s targets for the source of energy for local consumption by 2050 have been set at 44 per cent from renewable energy, 38 per cent from gas, 12 per cent from clean fossil and 6 per cent from nuclear energy.

In November, Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) signed an initial agreement with Japanese heavy-industry manufacturer IHI Corporation to explore setting up a low-carbon hydrogen and green ammonia plant in the UAE, supporting the Emirates' energy transition efforts.

The fuel produced will be exported to Japan and supplied within the UAE as well as the broader region for bunkering and other purposes.

This makes Enoc the latest UAE company to venture into the booming hydrogen industry, which is expected to be worth about $183 billion by 2023, according to Fitch Solutions.

Hydrogen, which can be produced from renewable energy and natural gas, is expected to play a key role in the coming years as economies and industries transition to a low-carbon world to slow climate change.

Low-carbon ammonia, which is made from nitrogen and clean hydrogen, is the most promising at-scale hydrogen carrier and potential clean fuel for a wide range of applications, including transport, power generation and fertiliser production.

The upcoming Cop28 climate conference will be held at Expo City Dubai.

At the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties, as Cop28 is formally known, leaders will be urged to commit to tougher action on climate change, including cutting the use of coal-fired power stations, reducing reliability on fossil fuels and boosting renewable energy sources.

The conference will provide both the UAE and Dubai an opportunity to display unique clean energy projects and achievements in reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources, the DMO said.

Updated: December 14, 2022, 9:45 AM