The United Arab Emirates is the rising star of clean energy in the region. Abu Dhabi’s solar power supply can cover around ~6% of the emirate’s demand for electricity in summer and 16% in winter currently.
The Noor Abu Dhabi solar power plant (1,177MW), which is considered as the single largest solar farm on earth, has started its commercial operation since July 2019.
An Astronomical Surge of Growth in Renewable Energy
According to the Minister of Climate Change and Environment Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s renewable energy portfolio has increased from 10 MW to 1,800 MW in 2019 alone, an astronomical surge of growth.
More projects are in the pipeline
6,500 MW of renewables is also expected to connect to the grid by 2030.
Moreover, a tender for a 2GW solar IPP at Al Dhafra is underway.
However, these achievements seem modest in comparison with the vision of Sultan al-Jaber, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (“ADNOC”).
UAE’s ambitious goals for green energy
UAE aims for a twofold increase in terms of clean energy capacity in the next 10 years, explained Jaber during the World Future Energy Summit on Monday.
Carbon capture utilization and storage
“We (ADNOC) will increase our carbon capture utilization and storage program by 500% ... to capture the same amount of CO2 as 5 million acres of forest,” Jaber further declared the country’s determination to combat climate change.
Lower greenhouse gas intensity by an additional 25%
One of the goals is to lower greenhouse gas intensity by an additional 25%. To hit this target, the capacity of ADNOC’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) would need to be increased, so that 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be captured and stored annually by 2030.
Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has faith in the aggressive goals set by Jaber. The minister shared his view with Khaleej Times: “Being ambitious makes you more active and interested in moving forward. When it comes to the targets (for clean energy), if you look at the numbers set for 2021, it's around 27%. And by 2050, we are confident that we are going to achieve a 50% clean energy target. So what has been announced by my brother and colleague Dr. Sultan Al Jaber is the right approach because we are going to push private sector, we are going to push technology provider and financial institutions to come here and bring their best practices, technologies, and work together to deploy large-scale projects in the country.”