The updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy will boost the Emirates' commitment towards achieving sustainable economic and social development, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Cop28 President-designate.
The initiatives aim to strengthen the UAE’s climate action efforts, reduce emissions and mitigate the repercussions of climate change, state news agency Wam quoted Dr Al Jaber as saying on Tuesday.
“Over the last decade, the UAE has increased renewable energy capacity more than any other country in the world, and by 2030 aims to more than triple this capacity again to reach a total of 14.2 gigawatts," said Dr Al Jaber, who is also managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc and chairman of Masdar.
“By building on our expertise in the energy sector and exporting hydrogen, the UAE will play a critical role in speeding up the decarbonisation of the global economy. The UAE also aspires to become a leading producer of low-carbon hydrogen by 2031."
The UAE is investing heavily in clean energy projects and announced several initiatives as it seeks to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The country 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 Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.
The Arab world’s second-largest economy has announced the updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy that were approved by the UAE Cabinet on Monday.
Under the updated objectives of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the country will invest between Dh150 billion and Dh200 billion by 2030 to ensure energy demand is met while sustaining economic growth in the UAE.
It will improve individual and institutional energy consumption efficiency rates to reduce carbon emissions and enhance environmental sustainability. This will help to reach financial saving of Dh100 billion and create 50,000 new green jobs by 2030.
The National Hydrogen Strategy is a long-term plan to turn the UAE into a “leading and reliable producer and supplier of low-carbon hydrogen by 2031”, Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said on Tuesday.
“The strategy serves as a crucial tool to help the UAE achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050 and accelerate the global hydrogen economy,” Wam quoted Mr Al Mazrouei as saying.
“Through both strategies, we aim to shape a prosperous, climate-safe, energy-secure future for our nation, while contributing to the global agenda for environmental sustainability … their launch couldn’t be more timely as we mark the year of sustainability and gear up to host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties [Cop28].”
The UAE aims to produce 1.4 million metric tonnes of hydrogen annually by 2031, Mr Al Mazrouei said. It will increase the production to 15 million metric tonnes annually in 2050.
The UAE will establish two hydrogen oases by 2031, each of which will produce clean electricity, and increase the number to five by 2050. It will establish a hydrogen centre for research and development in 2031, which will be developed into a recognised innovation centre globally for hydrogen by 2050, Mr Al Mazrouei said.
By 2030, the UAE aims to increase the contribution of clean energy, including renewable and nuclear power, in the energy mix to 32 per cent. It will be increased to 38 per cent by 2035 and 100 per cent by 2050, he said.
In 2021, the UAE unveiled its Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative, a Dh600 billion plan to invest in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.
It was the first Gulf country to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.