The UAE lacks many of the most widespread renewable energy resources, with no potential for hydroelectric power or tidal power and relatively little biomass. However, we are blessed with sunshine. Abu Dhabi has set a renewable energy target which it expects to meet largely through solar power, and 2010 has seen work begin on one of the world’s largest concentrating solar power plants. We are also developing geothermal cooling at Masdar City.
Peaceful Nuclear Power:
The UAE views peaceful nuclear energy as a significant contributor to meet increasing future electricity demand and as part of its strategy for the overall reduction in carbon emissions. With its nearly zero carbon footprint and high availability factor, it complements the UAE’s other renewable and low carbon energy sources, such as solar and clean fossil fuel power plants. A sizeable nuclear energy sector is being developed in the UAE which consists of four nuclear power reactors and the associated infrastructure, the first of which is scheduled for commercial operation in 2017.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation:
From new standards for appliances such as air conditioning, to the cutting edge technologies being demonstrated in Masdar City, the UAE is putting efficiency at the heart of its domestic energy strategy.
Transportation is one of the fastest-growing sources of emissions worldwide. We are investing in new mass transit systems such as Dubai’s light rail system and a proposed high speed train.
New energy efficiency standards for buildings are being set at a national level for the UAE. In addition, the Urban Planning Council has developed the new Estidama label for sustainable buildings, the first standard adapted for this region and climate.
Carbon Capture and Storage (clean fossil fuels):
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a means of mitigating climate change by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources such as power plants and storing it safely underground instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. The potential impact of CCS is huge. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says CCS could contribute between 10% and 55% of the cumulative worldwide carbon mitigation effort over the next 90 years. Technology for capturing of CO2 is already commercially available for large CO2 emitters, such as power plants. Storage of CO2, on the other hand is a relatively untried concept. The UAE is developing a major CCS project.