UAE, US and Israel to develop joint strategy to boost co-operation in energy sector

The three countries will also co-operate to solve energy challenges faced by Palestinians

UAE Oil Minister and the current OPEC Conference President, Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei, attends the Global Financial Market Forum in Abu Dhabi on February 27, 2018. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)
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The UAE, Israel and the US have agreed to develop a joint strategy to boost co-operation in the energy sector.

The three countries will work together on renewable energy, energy efficiency, oil, natural gas resources and related technology, as well as water desalination technology, according to a statement carried by state news agency Wam on Thursday.

“Together, our dynamic economies will look to leverage world-leading research and development capacities to meet the needs of current and future generations,” the statement said.

“We will also seek to find solutions to the energy challenges faced by the Palestinian people through the development of energy resources, technologies, and related infrastructure.”

The joint statement was issued by the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Suhail Al Mazrouei, US Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, and Israel’s Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz.

The UAE became the first Gulf country to normalise diplomatic ties with Israel after it formally signed the Abraham Accord in Washington last month.

Experts say there is a great potential for co-operation between the two countries within the energy sector, particularly in renewables, following the accord.

As a net importer of energy, Israel has gradually built up its renewables capacity. As of last year, the country had more than 1.4 gigawatts of solar power capacity, just behind the UAE and Egypt. Israel intends to increase its solar power capacity to 15 gigawatts by 2030 at a cost of $22 billion (Dh80.8bn).

The UAE, Israel and the US will also co-ordinate with financial institutions and the private sector for investment in research and development as well as in the rapid adoption of new energy technologies, the statement added.

The UAE accounts for 4 per cent of global crude output, much of it is from oilfields in Abu Dhabi. The country is diversifying its energy mix, adding solar and nuclear sources to its grid, as it looks to free up crude for export.