Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), At the Singapore Energy Summit held as part of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), Abu Dhabi's energy transformation has underscored how dramatically the emirate's energy profile has changed over the past few years in his keynote addresstoday.
"Singapore and the United Arab Emirates share a lot of unity, especially in setting an example of sustainable development, so they could share knowledge and benchmark against each other."
The UAE highlights the capabilities of the UAE in accelerating energy conversion, with the exception of H.E. Al Marar reiterated the Abu Dhabi government's commitment to promoting sustainable development of clean energy. “Abu Dhabi is committed to leading the paradigm shift towards renewable and clean energy forms of patterns. This was one of the key factors in establishing DoE in 2018, ” said His Excellency.
Outlining Abu Dhabi’s progressive economic vision for the post oil-era, His Excellency said: “Abu Dhabi's energy usage has doubled over the last decade and Due to economic and population growth the same will increase by 1.4 percent every year till 2035. We felt we needed to transform our energy system towards a sustainable future and to improve energy efficiency and rationalize consumption. Our approach is outlined in the United Arab Emirates Energy Strategy 2050, which is the country's first integrated energy strategy in terms of supply and demand."
Launched in 2017, the strategy aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050, reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70% and increase consumption efficiency by 40%.
The DOE Chairman noted that Abu Dhabi is important oil and gas supplier to the international organization, however, this has not slowed the pace of transition to clean and renewable energy sources.
In his Excellency keynote speech, he said: “By all measures, our energy transition has accelerated in the past few years, with major developments to improve the emirate's nuclear and solar capabilities. The Barakah nuclear power plant is expected to bring 5.6 GW of clean energy to the Abu Dhabi power mix and, when fully operational, offset more than 21 million tons of greenhouse emissions per year.
“Abu Dhabi’s flagship Noor Abu Dhabi Solar PV Plant —one of the world’s largest solar PV plants at 1,177 MW installed capacity through 3.2 million solar panels –alone has provided about 2.6% of the emirate’s energy needs.
"We also launched the Virtual Battery Plant in January 2019 - the world's largest grid-sized advanced battery power storage facility with 108 MW of sodium sulfur batteries in Abu Dhabi with six hours of energy storage in 10 different locations."
Another strategic priority for Abu Dhabi is water security. The United Arab Emirates Water Conservation Strategy 2036 aims to reduce the total demand for water by 21%, increase the reuse of purified water to 95%, and increase the national water storage capacity by two days.
H.E. Al Marar said: “In Abu Dhabi, we have set targets to reduce water losses by 10%, reduce the intensity of indoor and outdoor water use by 12%, and increase the use of recycled water by 100% by 2030.
“Last year, Abu Dhabi released a bid for a mega-water desalination project at Taweela Power and a water complex with a capacity of 200 million imperial gallons per day. This project will boost Abu Dhabi’s water quality from 13% in 2018 to 30% in 2022.
“Also, in January 2018, Abu Dhabi completed the construction of the Liwa aquifer - the world's largest reserve of 26 mm3 high-quality desalinated water. This project is enough to save 5.6 billion gallons of water, or enough to supply 180 liters of drinking water for one million people for 90 days."
Other highlights of Abu Dhabi's water security efforts that His Excellency mentioned were water reservoir, consumption behavior change and water demand management. Abu Dhabi's Demand Side Management and Energy Consumption Rationalization Strategy 2030 includes nine major projects with high potential to reduce water consumption by 32% and energy consumption by 22% by 2030.
H.E. Al-Marar said, "Improving energy efficiency will add significant value to Abu Dhabi by reducing the need for new infrastructure, reducing the use of natural gas and gas oil, and making better use of existing resources."
Concluding his address, His Excellency highlighted the vast investment opportunities that Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates have to offer and encouraged all our stakeholders in Singapore to explore and benefit from it. His Excellency added: Abu Dhabi is committed to invest in research & development and innovation sector to advance energy, in addition part of UAE energy strategy 2050, also UAE plan to invest $163 billion in a project to create almost half of the country’s power needs from renewable source by 2050. This confirms an attractive investment landscape to boast Both Abu Dhabi & UAE.